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ITHACA, N. Y. 14853 


_ . Cornell University Library 

DA 485.S25 1902 

Foreign yew of England in the regns of 

3 1924 028 015 174 

Cornell University 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 













C]£sAR DE Saussure, born in 1 705, was a descendant 
of the French family of that name, his ancestors 
having left their native province of Lorraine to 
seek refuge at Lausanne at the time of the per- 
secutions against the Protestants in the reign of 
Louis XIV. In the spring of 1725, Cdsar de 
Saussure left his home and travelled for eleven 
years, during the whole of which time he wrote 
letters describing the principal sights and objects of 
interest he had come across in his travels, and also 
relating many amusing incidents and anecdotes, 
together with personal reflections and opinions. 
His style, though artless and simple, carries a 
conviction of veracity with it. 

C^sar de Saussure describes his journey to 
England by way of the Rhine and Holland ; he 
tells of the danger his life was in on the sea and 
through brigands in Turkey. In 1729 he accom- 

A 2 


panied Lord Kinnoull, when he went as ambassador 
to Constantinople, and a Httle later was given the 
post of first secretary to the British Embassy there. 
In 1733 he left Lord Kinnoull's service for that of 
Prince Ragotzky, who, after losing his Hungarian 
and Transylvanian estates, had retired with his 
suite to Rodosto. After the Prince's death in 
1735, Cdsar de Saussure returned to Lausanne, but 
in 1738 he left Switzerland once more for Paris 
and London. 

In 1740 he was fortunate enough to obtain a 
post as secretary to Lord Cathcart, commanding 
a portion of the British fleet against the Spanish 
settlements in America, but Mme. de Saussure 
wrote to her son and implored him to go back 
to her, and though his disappointment at giving 
up his projected voyage was great, he immediately 
obeyed her. 

M. de Saussure married in 1 743 a Vaudois lady 
of patrician birth. When at Hertford he had fallen 
in love with and wished to marry a Miss Black, 
sister of a wealthy merchant in the City, but her 
family would not hear of her marrying a foreigner, 
and this disappointment to his hopes was the prin- 
cipal cause of the journey to Turkey. 


C^sar de Saussure's letters at the time they 
were written were received with much interest ; 
during more than twenty years they were lent to 
and read by at least two hundred persons in Berne, 
Geneva, and Lausanne, and this determined him 
to have them sorted and bound into volumes. In 
1755, Monsieur de Voltaire, who was then residing 
at Montriond, Lausanne, hearing of these letters, 
begged to be allowed to read them, and having done 
so returned the volumes with a card, on which was 
written in his own hand : " Monsieur de Voltaire 
et Madame Denis offrent leurs ob^issances a Mon- 
sieur et Madame de Saussure et renvoyent les 
manuscrits. On ne peut trop remercier Monsieur 
de Saussure de la bonte qu'il a eue de prater un 
ouvrage si amusant et si utile." 

Cesar de Saussure wrote several other volumes, 
amongst them a history of France and one of 
Switzerland, and also an account of the Emperor 
Joseph's journey in 1777, with a notice of his visit 
to Lausanne. I may add that the translator of 
these letters is by marriage a great-great-grand- 
daughter of Cdsar de Saussure. 

Lausanne, February, 1902. 




Journey by water from Yverdon — Lake of Neuchatel — Lake of 
Bienne — The Aar — The Rhine — Dangerous passages — Biber- 
stein — "Saut de Brugg" — Bad inns — Basle — Huninguen — 
Strasbourg — Philipsbourg — Dispute between two ladies — 
Mannheim — Worms — Mayence — Wines of Baccarach — St. 
Goar — Rat Tower — Coblentz — Episode in a church — Bonn 
— Cologne — Fight on the boat — Dusseldorf — Wesel— Culem- 
bourg — Rotterdam — Delft — The Hague — Cliffs of England — 
The Thames — Customs . . . . . . i 



London — The author gets lost — The Court of London — Palace 
of St. James — Drawing-room or circle — About George I., 
King of England — Of the Prince of Wales and family — St. 
James's Park — Abbey of Westminster — Tombs of the kings — 
Palaces of Parhament — House of Peers — House of Commons 
— The King goes in state to Parliament — King's livery . -35 


Whitehall Palace— The Admiralty— The Streets of London— 
The Watch — Houses of London — Squares and Places — The 
City— Temple Bar— Fleet Ditch— Ludgate— St. Paul's— 
Guildhall — Stock Exchange — Shop signs — The Monument 
— London Bridge — Southwark — The Customs — Tower of 
London — King's Menagerie— Regalia in the Tower — Smith- 
field — Moorfield — Bedlam — The Thames . . . 64 




Investiture of the Knights of the Bath — Procession of the 


Knights — The Aldermen of London — The Lord Mayor — 
Lord Mayor's Day — English Manner of dressing — The 
Duke of Bolton is insulted by a footman — Execution of 
thirteen criminals — Highwaymen, Footpads, Pickpockets — 
Jonathan Wild, captain of robbers . . . • 97 



Chelsea — Coffee-house of Salter — Kensington — Hyde Park — 
Marylebone — I slington — Sadler's Wells — Lambeth — East 
Sheen — Richmond — Richmond Park — Petersham — Hampton 
Court — High-roads of England — Savage found in the forests 
of Hanover — King's birthday — Old man presents him with a 
nosegay . . . . ... 133 



Penny Post — Fire insurance — Fountains of London — York 
Buildings machinery — Cleanliness of the English — EngHsh 
beer — Taverns and wine shops — Coffee-houses — Newspapers 
— Inns and Taverns — Hackney Coaches — Sedan Chairs- 
Boats — Markets of London — Aurora Borealis — Knights of 
the Garter — Mr. Walpole knighted . . • . i S3 



Character of the English — They are silent, scientific, courageous 
— The common people — Duels and Fights — Traits of gener- 
osity, of ingratitude — Charities — Hospitals — Westminster 
Hospital — Beggars of London — Story of a beggar — Defects 
and good qualities of the English — Wine debauches — Sally 
Salsbury — Englishmen swear — Wines given to servants . .176 





About suicides — Melancholy of the author — Divers odd suicides 
— Duke of Manchester attempts suicide — Penalties inflicted on 
suicides — Coroners — Of Enghsh women — Their style of dress- 
ing — Character of English women — They are tender-hearted, 
but jealous, interested — About lords — Knights — Knights of 
the Garter — Knights of the Thistle — Baronets and Knights 
bachelors — Squires — The clergy — Merchants — Artisans — 
Peasants — The populace of London — English cooking . . 196 



Death of George I.— Sir Robert Walpole breaks news to the 
Prince of Wales — King George II. arrives in London from 
Richmond — Proclamation — General mourning — About Mr. 
Chevalier, chief of French Calvinists — Amorous adventure — 
English women . . . ... 224 

Coronation of King George II. — Solemn procession — Cere- 
monials of the coronation — Return of the procession — Feast 
after the coronation — Illumination of the hall — The author 
takes part in the feast — The King's Champion — The tables 
are given up to the people — Prerogatives of peers, etc., on the 
day of the coronation — Lord Mayor's feast . . . 239 



Pleasures of the English — Mr. Fleetwood ruins himself with the 

theatre — About the opera — About comedy — About tragedy 

About pantomimes — About gladiators — Ambassadors of Hol- 
land — Their reception at the Tower — Order of their entrance 
— Their audience . . . . . . 271 




Horse racing— English horses — Foot races — Pleasures of the 


people — Cricket — Benediction of fathers and mothers — 
Christmas Day — St. Valentine's Day — Milkmaids on May 
Day — Oak leaves — The leeks of Wales — Crosses — Bridewell 
— About a thiet who is there — About a courtesan who is 
there — About another courtesan . ... 288 



Hertford, St. Albans, Ware, Hertfordshire — About parks, roe- 
deer, rabbits — Marriage of Mr. Warren — The atmosphere of 
England — About coal — Meadows full of sheep — About a well- 
known traveller — White niggers . ... 305 


Anglican Chiurch — Ceremonies of the Church — Presbyterians — 
Sundays in England — Quakers, their language, customs, and 
dress — Their religion and assemblies — Roman Catholics — 
Jews, their synagogues — Circumcision of a child — Story of 
Count Ughi, famous adventurer . . . .317 


The government and revenues of England — Taxes— Singular 
laws — Also with regard to women — False witnesses — Mr. 
Ward in pillory — The pillory — Debtors' prisons — About 
Tories and Whigs — Jacobites — Tulip trees . . . 336 



M. de Saussure leaves England for Constantinople on a warship 
with Lord KinnouU . . . ... 354 



St. James's Palace and the Mall in 1741 . . . 38 

From a print by J. Maurer. 

The Horse Guards Parade in 1742, with a Royal 
Procession . . . . . . . 48 

Fiom a print by J. Maurer. 

New Bedlam and Moorfields in 1710 . . . 92 

From an engraving by Nutting. 

The East and West Sides of London Bridge in about 1710 96 

From a print by Sutton Nicholls. 

The Guildhall, London, in 1720 . . . . 108 

From a print by Toms. 

View of London from the North in 1730, showing (on the 
left) Sadler's Wells and the New River Head . . .140 

From a print by T. Bowles. 

CovENT Garden in 1741 . . ... 172 

From an Indian Ink Drawing by J. Maurer in the British Museum. 

Triumphal Arch designed by W. Kent, and erected at the 
West End of Westminster Hall for the Coronation of King 
George IL, October nth, 1727, with the Entry of the King's 
Champion . ■•.... 240 

From a contemporary print by P. Fourdrinier. 

Westminster Hall in 1732 ..... 264 

From a print by H. F. Gravelot. 

Plan of London in 1741 . . . . At the end 

From a print by T. Bowles. 





Journey by water from Yverdon — Lake of Neuchitel — Lake of Bienne 
— The Aar — The Rhine — Dangerous passages — Bad inns — Basle 
— Huninguen — Strasbourg — Philipsbourg — Dispute between two 
ladies — Mannheim — Worms — Mayence — Wines of Baccarach — 
St. Goar — Rat Tower — Coblentz — Episode in a church — Bonn — 
Cologne — Fight on the boat — Dusseldorf — ^Wesel — Culembourg 
— Rotterdam — Delft — The Hague — Cliffs of England — The 
Thames — Customs. 

London, May 24, 1725 

I AM rejoiced at the thought of giving you 
pleasure, and I set about doing it with the greatest 
enjoyment ; for surely you cannot doubt of my 
affection for you, and you may be assured that 
neither distance nor absence will ever cause my 
feelings towards you to change. 

I. — B 


You made me promise, when I bade you fare- 
well, that I would write often, and relate all the 
curious and entertaining things I should come 
across in my travels, and should I fail to do as 
you so amiably asked of me, I should assuredly 
be the loser, for I have no greater pleasure than 
that of writing to you, or none greater than that 
of receiving your letters. I therefore seize the 
first opportunity that presents itself to tell you all 
about my travels so far. 

You know all my reasons for wishing to travel, 
and you understood my delight and joy when my 
dear mother consented to allow my present journey 
to England. Young people like to see new 
countries and to travel, and I am no exception to 
the rule. 

I left home on the 8th of April of this year, 
1725, and arrived at Yverdon on the evening of 
that day. On the nth I embarked on a big boat 
with about twenty fellow-passengers, amongst them 
being Madame de Joffroy, a stout Irish lady, on 
her way to Ireland with Mister Morrison, her son, 
come over to escort his mother on her journey ; 
Mademoiselle de Chaire, with whom you are well 


acquainted ; Mademoiselle Blanchard, a very nice 
and charming young person from Vevey, going to 
join her brother in Holland ; Monsieur Silvestre, 
a most amiable, pleasant, and witty clergyman, 
who was not to travel further than Holland ; and 
Monsieur de Pally. We stopped in the evening 
at Neuchitel. The wind had been contrary all 
day, and we were compelled to remain two whole 
days in this town. On the 13th at midday we 
re-embarked, and leaving the Lake of Neuchitel, 
entered the river Thielle, which forms a pretty 
canal several miles long, flowing into the Lake of 
Bienne. In the centre of this lake are two small 
islands belonging to the hospital of Bienne. The 
weather was very fine, and we were able to cross 
the lake in its widest part to Nidau, a small town 
situated where the Thielle leaves the lake. Here 
we spent a very uncomfortable night in a bad 
inn. On the 14th, leaving Nidau in the early 
morning, we entered the river Aar on leaving the 
Thielle. The river Aar is in some parts very 
dangerous, with hidden rocks and rapid currents. 

We landed at Soleure at midday, and after 
dinner visited the town. I much admired the 


church, the first Roman Catholic building I had 
ever seen, The care with which this church is 
decorated surprised me, and I was struck with its 
magnificence, for though it is a small building it 
is remarkably pretty. The choir is divided from 
the nave by six marble columns ; on the altar 
are placed several massive silver candlesticks, 
and a large lamp of the same precious metal 
hangs from the ceiling by silver chains ; I saw 
several good pictures in this church. We then 
walked through the town, in which are many fine 
houses, that of the French Ambassador being 
especially so. One of the most curious buildings 
I saw in Soleure was a tower on the bastions ; 
from whatever point of view you looked at it, 
it seemed to lean. 

After leaving Soleure we passed some dangerous 
spots on the river, the current here being very 
rapid, with much broken and foaming water. The 
ladies on board were much alarmed. 

At seven o'clock in the evening we reaqhed 
Wangen, an ugly village, and were conducted to 
the inn, where, judging from its outward appear- 
ance, we had every expectation of being badly 


housed and badly fed. Here a piece of good 
luck awaited us, however. Madame de Toffen, 
wife of the chief magistrate of the place, happened 
to be walking in her garden by the river when 
our boat went by, and, recognising Mademoiselle 
de Chaire, with whom she is acquainted, she sent 
a messenger to invite this lady with six of her 
friends to spend the night in her house. Madame 
de Toffen welcomed us most cordially, and we had 
excellent beds, a contrast to the very bad ones 
of the previous night. 

Leaving Wangen early the next morning, we 
stopped at Aarau and dined on board, our head 
boatman not permitting us to land. During the 
meal a little incident occurred which amused some 
of the party, but not all. Madame de Joffroy 
owned a silver goblet shaped like a gondola. 
During dinner Mademoiselle Blanchard, who was 
very thirsty and wished to drink, asked Madame de 
Joffroy to be so kind as to lend her her silver 
goblet; but the current was very rapid, and when 
Mademoiselle Blanchard dipped the cup into the 
water to fill it, it was carried out of her hand and 
lost for ever. On seeing the goblet disappearing 


rapidly out of sight, Madame de Joffroy flew into a 
terrible rage ; she scolded us all round and made us 
very uncomfortable, and the poor culprit had a bad 
time of it. We left Aarau intending to sleep at 
Brugg, but after travelling some miles our boat got 
wedofed between two rocks. The ladies were much 
alarmed, and not unreasonably so, the current being 
very swift and the water boisterous, bubbling round 
the boat. We had much difficulty in getting free, 
and had not a boat come to our aid, I do not know 
how we should have managed to do it. This 
accident delayed us by two hours, so that we were 
forced to pass the night at Biberstein, and were 
shown to a sort of tavern by the riverside, and in 
this most uncomfortable abode we were taken to a 
large room, quite bare save for a table and two 
wooden benches and a large stove, which was 
heated, though the weather was sultry. Some big, 
bearded German peasants were in the room, eating 
and drinking and making much noise, and we were 
seated uncomfortably close to them. Our supper 
was brought to us in two large wooden basins ; it 
consisted of soup, which we ate with wooden and 
pewter spoons, followed by cheese and eggs, and 


very bad wine. When it was time to lie down for 
the night, the table and benches were removed, 
straw was laid on the floor, and we rolled ourselves 
in blankets and tried to sleep, there being no other 
room in the house. 

Next day, April i6th, we were made to pay a 
high price for this most uncomfortable lodging, so 
we left it as soon as possible, and stopped at a 
village two miles distant. Here we engaged four 
boatmen or pilots to take charge of our boat, so as 
to avoid the rocks ahead ; two of these men rowed 
in the bows and two in the stern, only two of our 
boatmen remaining in the boat, together with my- 
self and another juvenile passenger, for we both 
wanted to see the passage of the " Saut de Brugg,'' 
which is said to be so dangerous that the other 
passengers preferred to land and join us afterwards. 
Shortly before reaching the cataract high projecting 
rocks hem in the water on either side, making it 
very rapid. I did not think the " Saut de Brugg " 
very high, but immediately beyond the " Leap " the 
current flows very rapidly, zigzagging between the 
rocks, and herein lies the danger, for if the boatmen 
did not take the greatest care the boat would touch 
the rocks and be quickly broken up. 


Accidents of this nature sometimes occur, but this 
time we got through without any mishap beyond a 
good wetting. We passed under a fine bridge, a 
single stone arch which gives Brugg its name, 
" Brugg " in German signifying bridge. 

We remained at Brugg that day. It is a small 
but pretty town ; the town hall and most of the 
houses are painted on the outside with frescoes. 
Here there may be seen pictures of kings or 
emperors painted on the houses, or those of 
generals on foot and on horseback ; and again on 
other houses there are animals, such as lions, tigers, 
elephants, or sometimes landscapes, the effect of all 
these painted houses being very curious and pretty, 

Brugg is the last town in the Canton of Berne ; 
we left it on the 17 th at midday, and dined at 
Klingnau ; two hours afterwards we entered the 
Rhine where it joins the Aar at Waldshut. When 
we reached Laufenburg we all left the boat, for 
here there is a high fall of from thirty to forty 
feet. The merchandise and baggage were re- 
moved and laden on carts, which were to rejoin 
the boat beyond the fall. We went to walk on 
the Esplanade just opposite the cataract, and we 


saw our boat being let down by the help of ropes, 
about a dozen men being busy with this job, and 
they had much trouble over it, for the boat might 
easily have been destroyed. We were told that 
when the water is very low boats have to be 
transported on carts below the cataract. The 
merchandise being safely packed once more, the 
travellers got in, and we slept at Seckingen, 
reaching Basle next day. 

Basle is the largest as well as one of the finest 
towns in Switzerland, and almost all its inhabitants 
are merchants. The river Rhine divides the town 
into two parts, Basle and Little Basle, which are 
joined together by a fine wooden bridge. At one 
of the ends of this bridge is a tower containing 
a fine clock, and you have to pass through the 
gate of this tower to cross the bridge. Above 
the gate is a large wooden head representing a 
bearded old man, who at each minute opens his 
huge mouth and puts his tongue out at Little 
Basle. The clocks of Basle are one hour in 
advance of those in other places, the reason for 
this being, I was told, that once upon a time a 
conspiracy between the two Basles had been dis- 


covered owing to a clock being too fast, and the 
custom has come down from that time. 

We went to see the Dance of Death, a fresco 
painted by the famous Holbein on a wall in the 
cemetery of a church. Connoisseurs admire this 
painting for its delicacy and beauty ; time has 
unfortunately harmed it in many places. The 
women of Basle are very good-looking ; I thought 
their dress suited them to perfection. On their 
heads they wear small three-pointed caps made of 
velvet or of rich silken stuff; little bodices tighten 
their waists and give them trim figures ; their 
skirts are short, and their feet are neatly and 
carefully shod. I was told that the women of 
Basle are by no means inimical to Cupid. 

On the 19th we visited Huninguen, a French 
fortress, and on the 21st, after dinner, we started 
once more on our travels. So far we had not 
much enjoyed our journey by water ; it had rained 
almost all the time. The river Aar, with its swift 
current and hidden dangerous rocks, had often 
frightened the ladies of our party. On the Rhine 
so far we had not been much more fortunate, but 
happily the remainder of our journey was much 


pleasanter than the beginning had been, and the 
weather became much finer. That night we slept 
at Breisach in Breisgau, a town belonging to the 
Emperor. We arrived late and left early, and I 
could not see what manner of place it was. On 
the 22nd we stopped to visit Strasbourg, one of the 
largest and finest towns that belong to the King 
of France. The cathedral is magnificent, and its 
steeple very curious. It is built in the Gothic 
style, but is pierced all over in designs ; it is said 
to be the most interesting in France. In this 
steeple there is a wonderful clock with a perpetual 
almanack and many curious things. When the 
clock is about to strike, a gilt cock perched above 
the clock flaps its wings and crows three times ; 
then a little painted copper figure represeoting the 
Virgin opens the door. At midday the Twelve 
Apostles come out ; they pass along a gallery, and 
when half-way through their journey they stop, 
and with a hammer which each holds in his hand 
strike upon a bell ; they then proceed to the end 
of the gallery, where the Angel Gabriel opens a 
door and closes it behind them. At one o'clock 
one apostle appears, at two o'clock two apostles, 


and so on, I was told that the maker of this 
marvellous clock had made one also for Lyons, 
and that the governors of Strasbourg, jealous lest 
the man should make a third and perhaps finer 
clock than the other two, had ordered him to be 
blinded in order to prevent his ever working 

The women of Strasbourg are dressed much like 
those of Basle, but I thought them even more 
attractive and better-looking. Strasbourg is a big 
town and well fortified for modern warfare, the 
garrison numbering seven or eight thousand men. 
We made acquaintance with some officers of the 
de Villars regiment, and we were invited to assist 
at a play and to partake of an excellent little 

Early in the morning of April 23rd we left 
Strasbourg, and at eleven o'clock passed the fortress 
of St. Louis. A sentinel called to us several times 
to stop, but I do not know whether our head 
boatman hoped to get by without paying toll, or 
whether he could not manage the boat properly ; 
anyhow, the sentinel evidently thought we did not 
mean to stop, and he ran alongside, pointing his 


gun at our boat. Whilst this soldier was running 
along the bank he tripped over a stone and fell. 
Unluckily for him, he happened to be smoking at 
the time ; his pipe, breaking in his mouth, no doubt 
hurt him, and this made him so angry that as soon 
as he had risen to his feet he fired his gun at us. 
We heard the bullet whizzing over our heads. More 
soldiers came to their comrade's help, and they 
seemed inclined to shoot at us too. The ladies in 
our boat, more dead than alive with fright, made 
such a noise and uproar that they at last forced our 
men to land us. The soldiers seized our head 
boatman and put him in prison, but we interceded 
for him and gave money to the commandant of the 
place, who soon ordered his release, so that we 
were not delayed. We arrived very late at Seltz, 
and had only straw to sleep on. 

On the 24th, in the early morning, we left this 
inhospitable place, but we reached Philipsbourg late 
that night, and the gates of the town were already 
closed. We were forced to put up at a bad inn 
frequented by soldiers, and could only have one 
room amongst us all. After a very bad supper, 
some straw was laid down on the floor, and we 


had to sleep on it as best we could. A gentleman 
of the party, seeing that one of the ladies was 
cold, went across the room to her with the intention 
of offering her his cloak. Our stout friend, Madame 
de Joffroy, perceiving that a man had come over 
to the ladies' side of the room, made such a com- 
motion that she wakened everybody, had the one 
candle relit, and ordered the gallant knight to go 
back to his end of the room. The funny part of 
this episode was that the lady who had felt cold 
was so offended with Madame de Joffroy's vigilance, 
which seemed to imply that her conduct was not 
above suspicion, that she gave Madame de Joffroy 
a piece of her mind, and this lady being somewhat 
of a shrew, there ensued a fierce discussion which 
amused us exceedingly. Gradually, however, the 
ladies calmed down, and in about an hour's time 
we were all sleeping peacefully. 

On April 25th we passed Spires, but only 
stopped to pay toll, and reached Mannheim at 
midday. This town is the usual residence of the 
Elector Palatine, and was built in 1688, shortly 
after the destruction of Heidelberg by the French. 
We wished to spend the night here, so as to attend 


the theatre in the evening, where we should have 
seen the Elector and all his court, but our head 
boatman would not consent to this arrangement, 
and we had to make up our minds to continue our 
journey. Immediately after leaving Mannheim we 
came across some curious water-mills on flat, 
wooden boats, the latter anchored in the river. 

At eight o'clock we arrived at Worms. The 
gates being closed and the town at some distance, 
we had to put up at two little inns by the river- 
side. A bridal feast was taking place in one of 
these inns. We were made welcome to it, partook 
of good food, and danced all night, being en- 
couraged in these festivities by the presence of 
several pretty girls ; but next day, April 26th, we 
were made to pay pretty heavily for our dissipation. 
At three o'clock we reached Mayence, this being 
a fine fortified town. We visited the Elector's 
gardens ; they are very fine, and have many foun- 
tains and statues. On the big terrace are three 
pavilions or summer-houses, all decorated with 
frescoes, gilding, and sculpture. We would not 
quit this town before tasting its famous Mayence 
hams, and we took a certain number with us on 


board as supplies for the journey. These hams 
were delicious. 

On the 27th we embafked late in the day and 
landed at Bacharach, where we had time to taste 
the famous and excellent wines, said to be the best 
on the Rhine. We found these wines so much to 
our taste that we laid in a small store of them. On 
the 28th, in the early morning, we left Bacharach, 
and stopped at St. Goar, an ugly, dirty litde 
garrison town. On coming to the gates of the 
town we were much surprised to see that some of 
our fellow-travellers who had preceded us had been 
stopped by the soldiers ; but our surprise was still 
greater when we saw that one of our friends wore 
a silver pillory collar round his neck, the soldiers 
laughingly explaining that the customs of the place 
forbade anyone who was not a Christian from being 
permitted to enter the town. No stranger, being a 
heathen, Jew, or Mahometan, might enter ; there- 
fore the custom was that he should be christened, 
and our fellow-traveller was allowed to choose 
whether the rite should be performed with water 
or not. Our friend answered he was not aware 
that one could be christened with aught but water. 


No sooner had he uttered the word than he re- 
ceived a whole bucketful on his head, tilted down 
from a window just above him. He was then 
released, angry, cold, and damp. After him the 
soldiers took another of our fellow-travellers, and as 
he said he preferred wine to water, a large pewter 
vessel full of the liquid was immediately brought to 
him, and he was made to swallow a goodly portion ; 
then he was forced to pay for what he had drunk 
and for what he could not drink before being 
released from the silver collar. As for myself and 
friends, we were allowed to avoid the christening 
ceremony by paying liberally for christening the 
soldiers' thirsty throats. These men form the gate 
guard ; we were taken by them to a tavern, where 
we had to drink their sergeant's health while he 
wrote our names in a big book in which the names 
of strangers of distinction were inscribed. We saw 
the signatures and seals of several princes and 
noblemen — that of Prince Eugene, of the Duke 
of Marlborough, Marshal Villars, and other well- 
known soldiers. 

Some miles after leaving St. Goar we saw the 
large fortress of Hesse-Rheinfels. This building 


is on a rock washed by the Rhine. We had com- 
menced passing through a part of the river hemmed 
in by a chain of hills on either side, and we saw 
numerous old forts and castles on the summits, 
which we named the " Ugly Beauties," because, 
though being so ruined and deserted, these old 
castles lend a certain charm to the view ; but you 
gradually get so tired of seeing them that you are 
almost tempted to regret they were ever built. 
Throughout these hills there is a wonderful echo, 
and we amused ourselves by firing off guns, which 
caused a remarkably loud noise. 

At about three o'clock we passed the Rat- 
Tower. The river here is rather dangerous on 
account of hidden rocks. This tower is built on 
an island in the middle of the Rhine, and I will 
relate its history to you, in case you do not know 
it. A certain Bishop of Treves, being one day 
surrounded by a number of peasants clamouring 
for food, had them all shut up in a barn, to which 
he set fire, the peasants being burnt to death. On 
hearing the unfortunate people scream, the wicked 
Bishop turned to his attendants and said, " Listen 
to these rats, how they squeal." But before long 


he was punished for his cruelty, for an infinitely 
numerous army of rats followed him day and night, 
and to escape from them he ordered a high tower 
to be built in the middle of the river ; but the rats 
swam across the Rhine, invaded the tower, and 
devoured the Bishop. I do not vouch for the 
authenticity of this story, and tell it you as it was 
told me. 

We landed early in the afternoon at Coblentz. 
This town is situated on the Rhine and Moselle. 
At this place we saw the finest ferry-bridge we had 
yet seen. It is a large square boat, rather longer 
than it is wide, and around it, in order to prevent 
accidents, is a wooden balustrade painted and gilt. 
This ferry-boat can hold two coaches drawn by six 
horses at one and the same time. When it rains 
the passengers may take shelter in a well-kept 
cabin, of which there is one at each corner of the 
boat ; the whole is decorated with sculptures and 
painting of a rough sort. This bridge, or boat, is 
secured by a long cable, held above the water by 
about twenty little boats, and at certain hours the 
current carries the bridge to the opposite side of the 
river, and you can thus get across at a trifling cost. 


At Coblentz we met with a little adventure 
which might have become most unpleasant. In 
every town where we stopped our custom was to 
visit the principal churches, and here also we 
decided we would go and see the church nearest 
our inn, and which appeared to be an interesting 
building. At the hour of vespers we went into 
this church, and found a large assembly of people. 
Two Capuchin monks came in soon after us, and 
Mademoiselle Blanchard, who had never seen any 
priests like them before, was so struck by their 
appearance that she gave an exclamation of sur- 
prise. The monks curtseyed and prayed before 
the altar and disappeared in the vestry, from which 
they emerged very soon, dressed in silken stoles 
and other sacerdotal garments, their heads covered 
with muslin handkerchiefs, and this apparel con- 
trasted so oddly with their aged faces and long 
white beards that on seeing them Mademoiselle 
Blanchard began to laugh, and turning to me, made 
such an amusing remark that I am sorry to say I 
smiled too. Several persons standing by saw and 
heard us ; they perceived we were strangers, and 
imagined we were heretics laughing at the customs 


of their church, and a murmur arose amongst them. 
Some old women began discoursing and clamouring 
in the German tongue, which none of us could 
understand. Things began to look unpleasant, and 
when we perceived this, we decided on returning 
to the inn. More than a score of old women and 
children followed us, insulting us and even throwing 
stones at us. Fortunately we were not far from 
our inn, so we hurried in and closed the doors. 
I think that if we had had far to go, and thus 
given the populace time to collect, that we might 
have been in danger, nothing being more un- 
pleasant in a large town than an excited and hostile 
crowd. Whilst we were being besieged in the inn, 
not knowing what would befall us next, two of our 
fellow-travellers, who had not accompanied us to 
the church, returned to the inn, and were much 
surprised at seeing it surrounded by a clamouring 
mob ; but they were still more so when they were 
seized and taken before a magistrate. After many 
explanations they were released, but exhorted not 
to show themselves in the town, the populace being 
greatly excited against us, and we were all of us 
most severely reproved for the scandal we had so 


innocently caused. We remained shut up in the 
inn till the next day, and set out on our journey in 
the early morning. That same evening we slept 
at Bonn, the Elector's, or Archbishop's, ordinary 
residence. We were not permitted to visit the 
palace, but we saw the stables, in which were many 
fine horses. Some of these were curious animals 
spotted like tigers, white with black spots all over 
their bodies ; they have white manes and tails, and 
are beautiful and wonderful beasts. Six of these 
horses generally draw the Elector's coach. As we 
were wandering about in front of the principal 
church at seven o'clock in the evening, we saw the 
Elector, or Archbishop, pass in his coach, returning 
from the chase. He was clad in a secular hunting 
dress of green embroidered with gold Spanish 
point, and a hat trimmed with the same gold lace. 
His coach was drawn by four white horses, and 
many noblemen and gentlemen followed on horse- 

Next day, the last of the month, we landed at 
Cologne, which is a large town, containing as many 
churches and chapels as there are days in the year. 
We visited the cathedral, the finest in Germany. 


Cologne has a quaint privilege ; the sovereign 
cannot reside or even sleep in this town for a night 
without a permission from the chief magistrate. 
We left Cologne at three o'clock in the afternoon ; 
notwithstanding all we could do or say, our head 
boatman refused to wait for Mister Morrison, who, 
with a fellow-traveller, was still in the town. After 
we had journeyed for about an hour, we saw a small 
boat following ours with great rapidity, and our two 
fellow-travellers soon caught us up. Mister Morrison, 
furious at not having been waited for, threatened 
our boatman with his stick, and he did not stop at 
that, for as soon as his foot was in the boat he fell 
upon the man, who retaliated immediately by taking 
Mister Morrison by the throat and by knocking him 
down. Madame de Joffroy, who was seated at the 
after end of the boat, seeing her beloved son so 
badly treated, and forgetting her heavy weight and 
corpulence, flew to the rescue. With surprising 
agility she passed over several people, strode over 
bales of merchandise, and with heroic courage, 
throwing herself into the fray, she began pommel- 
ling the head boatman, who in his turn showered 
blows on her son with usury. This battle was 


being fought on one side of the boat, and we 
expected every minute to be capsized ; the boat 
dipped heavily, and everyone on board was terrified, 
the combatants alone not perceiving the danger. 
The ladies screamed and tried to change places, 
the boat dipped still more, and we were as close as 
possible to capsizing ; there was so much disorder, 
such turmoil on board, it was most ludicrous, though 
dangerous. When our champions were quite worn 
out with giving and receiving blows peace was 
restored, but not till then, for though we had all 
tried our influence and persuasions, no one had 
been able to succeed in calming them down. 

Rather late in the day we landed at Wiesdorf, a 
dirty village. The ladies had beds to sleep in, we 
men only straw to lie upon. On the ist of May 
we left this place at dawn, and landed and passed 
the night at Dusseldorf, capital of the Duchy of 
Bergnau. The Elector Palatine, to whom this 
duchy belongs, has a fine palace in this town. In 
it is a room, the doors, walls, and ceiling of which 
are composed of mirrors, so wonderfully joined 
together that they seem to be all of one piece. 
These mirrors are cut in such a fashion that you 


see your reflection about twenty thousand times 
running, and get, I assure you, very sick of the 

On the 2nd of May we left Dusseldorf for Wesel. 
There is nothing remarkable to be seen in this town 
excepting some very fine soldiers belonging to the 
King of Prussia, these being tall, martial-looking 
men. On the 3rd we left Wesel and slept at 
Arnheim, this being our first night in Holland. 
This is a charmingly clean place, and it struck us 
all the more, most of the German towns we had 
stopped in being dirty and very muddy. We slept 
in a nice clean inn. Almost all the houses of this 
town are built of bricks. The belfry has a fine 

Late on the 4th we reached Culembourg. The 
gates of the town were closed, and we were forced 
to sleep in a bad inn, on the river Leek, a small 
tributary of the Rhine ; we partook of a meagre 
supper, and were extremely badly lodged. Next 
morning we were presented with a very large bill, 
amounting to forty-five sols a head. We told our 
host that we considered his bill too large. He at 
once answered that he would make us out another ; 


we naturally expected that he would reduce the 
first, but to our extreme vexation he made us up 
another bill to which he added several items, such 
as wood for the kitchen fire, for candles, and also 
"so much for spitting on the floors or in the rooms 
and dirtying them." This last item filled us with 
wrath against this Jew, but we were obliged to pay 
for all he charged us, and dared make no more 
remarks, lest he should make out another bill 
heavier than the other two. This little incident 
was a lesson to us to settle prices beforehand, and 
anyone travelling in Holland had better beware of 
a similar fate. 

At seven o'clock next morning. May 5th, we 
landed at Schoonhoven, a pretty, clean little town. 
By this time we were very tired and weary of our 
journey by boat, so we made up a party of seven 
to proceed by coach. We hired a vehicle to convey 
us to Rotterdam. This was a lumbering machine, 
partly like a coach and partly like a chaise, simply 
secured on wheels without being balanced in any 
way ; it made a rumbling noise and shook us most 
cruelly. To this coach only four horses were 
harnessed, but they went very fast, the roads in 


Holland' being very smooth and probably the best 
in the world. We passed many charming villages 
and beautiful country houses and gardens. I was 
surprised at the number of windmills I saw ; some 
of them are used for grinding grain, some for 
sawing wood, and others again for making paper, 
and you see these mills whichever way you turn. 

We slept at Rotterdam on the 5th, after having 
journeyed for twenty-four days from the time we 
left Yverdon. I was very sick of the journey. I 
think it might have been a pleasant one had we 
been entirely amongst friends, if we had had a boat 
to ourselves, and especially if we had been per- 
mitted to choose our quarters and sleep where we 

Rotterdam is, after Amsterdam, the largest town 
in Holland ; its port is always full of ships, which 
go down the wide canals, so that you see a 
wonderful mixture of trees, steeples, and masts. 
The market-place surprised me by its large size, 
its beauty, and especially by the diversity of the 
sea-fish that were there exposed for sale, for I had 
never seen any of these creatures before. The 
statue of Erasmus in bronze, and said to be a work 


of art, is erected on the bridge over the river 
Meuse. This celebrated man was born in this 
town. I suppose you have heard of the cleanliness 
of the Dutch ; I will therefore only tell you that I 
think they exaggerate this virtue. Every morning 
the streets are washed, and in the houses the 
utensils and furniture are kept, I will not merely 
say clean, but also exceedingly bright. 

We stopped three days in Rotterdam, and seeing 
that the ship in which we were to sail for England 
could not leave for several days owing to contrary 
winds, I with a fellow-traveller decided on visiting 
the Hague. Just outside Rotterdam is a canal, and 
every hour a boat goes down it to Delft. This 
boat is drawn by a trotting horse ; it is very com- 
fortable, having a large, clean cabin, good seats, 
and a table. If you prefer it, by paying extra you 
can have a small cabin to yourself. All through 
Holland you can travel in this way at a trifling cost 
and very fast. We stopped an hour at Delft and 
visited a church, where we saw the tomb of a 
Prince of Orange, which seemed to me very mag- 
nificent, with its columns of bronze and marble, its 
ornaments of jasper, porphyry, and alabaster. 


From Delft to the Hague there is another canal, 
only wider, its border being of stone, and fine 
avenues of trees are planted alongside. The nearer 
we got to the Hague the more we admired the 
beautiful country houses, mostly built of bricks. 
We reached the Hague at six o'clock, after a fairy- 
like journey. 

We spent the whole of May loth visiting this 
beautiful village. Almost all the nobility reside 
here ; so do the ambassadors and foreign ministers, 
for the Dutch States -General assemble at the 
Hague. The streets are wide, long, and straight ; 
the palace, though built in an antique style, is 
magnificent, and was formerly the residence of the 
Princes of Orange. We should have liked to stay 
longer at the Hague, so as to visit its beautiful 
park, but we were afraid of the ship sailing without 
us, and as our belongings were already on board, 
we were forced to go back without delay. 

On May 12th we embarked on an English sloop, 
or two-masted vessel. The wind being unfavour- 
able, we had to sail round the island of Voorn 
and to pass Helvoet, where we anchored on the 
13th. Our captain went on shore for provisions. I 


accompanied him, and whilst he was busy I visited 
the little town. We then returned to the ship, 
weighed anchor, and sailed. The wind was use- 
less, the tide alone aiding us a little. Some 
distance from land we saw a poor dog in the water, 
battling against death. The captain took pity on 
this unfortunate animal, and ordered some of his 
men to rescue him. He turned out to be a fine 
white spaniel, and our captain was delighted with 
his find. 

On the 14th the wind was quite contrary, blowing 
from north to west ; during the very dark night a 
smack, all sails set, ran into us, her sailors evidently 
being asleep. We were frightened, but no harm 
was done. On the 1 5th a nice breeze got up from 
the south, and we sailed along merrily, but towards 
evening the north wind got up and sent us back 

On the 1 6th, the weather and wind being favour- 
able, we sighted the coasts of England, but in the 
night a violent north-west wind got up and threw 
us back towards Holland. This wind continued 
to blow all the 17th. We suffered terribly from 
sea-sickness, the waves being very high, and we 


were unaccustomed to this mode of dancing, few 
of the travellers ever having been on the sea 
before. I was very ill and could eat nothing. 
In the evening the wind veered to the east, and 
next morning, the i8th, we once more saw the 
coasts of England ; but unfortunately this favour- 
able wind did not last long, for it shifted to north 
again. That evening, the sea being very high 
and the wind rather increasing than abating, we 
cast anchor about four leagues from land. When 
the tide went down, the captain saw, to his dismay, 
that we were anchored between four sandbanks, 
and should the cables break nothing could save us 
from destruction. An unpleasant reminder of the 
fact was the sight of the masts of a vessel which 
had undergone shipwreck, our seemingly impending 
fate, a few weeks previously. The wind did not 
go down as we had hoped, but increased in fury, 
so we threw out all our anchors and trusted to 
Providence. We suffered terribly all that night, 
but as soon as the tide was sufficiently high we 
left this dangerous spot. On the 19th, in the 
morning, the wind having abated, at midday it 
turned to the east and threw us into the mouth 


of the river Thames, where we anchored at eight 
o'clock in the evening and awaited the tide. At 
midnight we set sail, and were at Gravesend on 
May 20th. 

As soon as our ship was sighted five or six 
officers from the Customs prepared to board us, 
and as soon as possible began to search in every 
nook and cranny in the hope of discovering 
smuggled goods. When they were tired of 
searching, they departed, after receiving several 
bottles of wine and spirits from our captain. 
After this first batch of men had left us others 
took their place, and I think our ship was 
searched by five or six different parties of these 
men from the Customs, the captain, hoping to 
please them, making them all presents, for ships 
are occasionally much damaged by these visits, 
the searchers being allowed to break down the 
wooden partitions so as to make sure nothing is 
concealed in them, and the more generous the 
captain shows himself the less harm is done to 
the ship. Some pounds of tea were found hidden 
away between the stones of the kitchen stove of 
our vessel. 


You can imagine nothing more beautiful than the 
banks of the Thames ; on either side are charming 
country houses and many pretty towns and villages, 
the principal being Sheerness, Gravesend, and 
Greenwich ; in the latter place is a magnificent 
hospital for seamen. 

In the evening of May 20th we were still a 
league from London, and as on account of the 
ebbing tide our ship could not reach London that 
night, we hired some small boats to convey us on 
shore. As we were leaving the ship, two officers 
of the Customs, belonging to the party who had 
first visited our ship, announced their intention of 
searching our persons, lest any forbidden mer- 
chandise should be concealed on us. Perceiving 
that most of us were foreigners never having been 
in England before, they did not trouble us much, 
but were far stricter with Madame de Joffroy and 
with Mister Morrison, her son ; but when they 
came to a French refugee captain in the King of 
England's service, they were still more severe, for, 
perceiving that the captain's breeches were rather 
bulky in the seat, they searched him and found a 
packet of Flanders lace concealed therein. The 
I. — D 


turn of the captain's mother and sisters came next ; 
the Customs men were impudent enough to search 
beneath these French ladies' petticoats, and I must 
own not unsuccessfully, for they did not draw 
their hands out empty, but produced several more 
packets of lace. 

Between seven and eight o'clock we landed at 
the Tower of London. My journey from Lausanne 
had lasted one month and fourteen days. I have 
scarcely been out as yet, for my first desire being 
to tell you of my arrival here, and to give you an 
account of my travels, most of my time has been 
taken up with writing this epistle. 

I hope that you will not find it tedious, and that 
you will receive it as a proof of my great attach- 
ment to you. 


London— The author gets lost — The Court of London— Palace of 
St. James — Drawing-room or circle— About George L, King of 
England — Of the Prince of Wales and family — The Park of 
St. James— Abbey of Westminster— TomUs of the kings— Palaces 
of Parliament — House of Peers — House of Commons — The King 
goes in state to Parliament — King's livery. 

London, Sept. 17, 1725 

You are kind enough to tell me the interest you 
took in my long letter to you, and that you will 
be pleased to hear from me again and to know 
more about England. It is a difficult task for 
such an inexperienced pen as mine, and I feel as 
if I ought to refuse your request rather than 
disappoint you by my style ; but a young man 
of my age cannot refuse the request of an old 
friend, and I will do the best I can, according to 
your desire. 

The reason why I have not sent off my second 
letter sooner is that I thought I had better see 



more of London before attempting to describe it 
to you. 

I have often heard travellers and scholars declare 
that London is undoubtedly the largest and most 
populous city in the whole of Europe. The city 
is ten miles long from Mill bank to Blackwall, and 
its width is about three miles from Southwark to 
Moorfields ; it contains more than one million in- 
habitants. The streets are long, wide, and straight, 
some of them being more than a mile in length. 
On either side of the street the ground is raised 
and paved with flat stones, so that you can walk 
in the streets without danger of being knocked 
down by coaches and horses. The City of London 
itself is not very large, being only three miles in 
circumference. It is inclosed by stone walls and 
has gates ; but so many houses have been built 
around, especially on the western side, that London 
has been joined to Westminster, which latter place 
was formerly two miles distant. The space between 
consisted of fields and pastures, but now is part of 
the town. That which is surrounded by walls is 
called the City, and is almost entirely inhabited 
by merchants ; the other part of London is called 


the Liberty of Westminster, and here, you will find 
the Court, and the residences of the peers and 
noblemen and of other persons of distinction. 

A few days after my arrival in London I had 
an unpleasant experience. Wishing one evening 
to walk in the park, and having already visited 
it twice, I thought I could easily find my way 
there and back alone. The evening was very fine, 
and I stayed in the park till ten o'clock, enjoying 
my stroll and the amusing sights. around me, the 
park being very crowded that evening. When I 
wished to go home again and cross the Mews, a 
large square occupied by the King's stables, by 
which way I had come, I found the gates already 
closed. I immediately set about trying to find out 
my whereabouts and a new way home. Unfortu- 
nately I could not speak a word of English, and 
wandered aimlessly about, trying to find my way, 
unable to ask anyone's help or to hire a hackney- 
coach, as I could not make a driver understand me 
or give him my address. The only thing I could 
do was to walk from street to street, in the hopes 
of recognising some landmark or other ; but after 
hoping this for about an hour I found myself in an 


entirely unknown part. It was now past midnight ; 
the streets were empty, and I did not know what to 
do. I sat down on a seat in front of a shop and 
longed for day. After I had been seated there for 
half an hour or so, to my intense relief two gentle- 
men happened to go by, and you can imagine my 
delight when I heard them conversing in French. 
I almost thought they were angels sent to my 
help ! I hastened to stop them, to explain to them 
my unpleasant situation. They inquired where I 
lived, which I could not tell them, the name of 
the street having completely escaped my memory. 
After questioning me for some minutes as to what 
country I came from, how long I had been in 
London, whether I had any acquaintances, it turned 
out most fortunately for me that these gentlemen 
were acquainted with a friend of mine, and that 
they lived at no great distance from him. They 
were kind enough to show me the way themselves, 
and we walked two miles together before I got 
back to my rooms. Since then I have taken good 
care not to lose myself again. I am too much 
afraid of spending such another weary night. 
On the Sunday following my arrival a friend 


asked me to accompany him to Court, and at mid- 
day we went together to St, James's Palace. We 
passed through several rooms in which were noble- 
men and officers awaiting the opening of the King's 
apartments. As soon as the signal was given, all 
these people disappeared inside them, we being 
unable to follow on account of the crowd. Knowing 
there was a gallery leading to the chapel through 
which the Court must pass, we posted ourselves 
on it, and had not long to wait. Six Yeomen 
appeared at the head of the procession ; they re- 
minded me very much of the Swiss Guard at 
Versailles, being dressed in the same quaint 
fashion. They carried halberds on their shoulders, 
and walked two and two. These Yeomen were 
followed by several gentlemen of the Court, by 
the Duke of Grafton, the King's Chamberlain, and 
by the Duke of Dorset, Master of the King's 
Household, each carrying a long white wand of 
office. Two sergeants-at-arms, or mace-bearers, 
followed, carrying their maces on their shoulders, 
these being of silver-gilt, surmounted by crowns of 
the same precious metal. A nobleman of the Court 
followed, carrying the sword of state. This weapon 


is very long and broad ; the scabbard is of crimson 
velvet, the hilt of massive gold, enriched with some 
precious stones. The King then appeared, followed 
by the three young Princesses who reside with him 
in the Palace ; they are the Prince of Wales's three 
eldest daughters. Each of these young Princesses 
was escorted by her squire, the train of her dress 
being carried by pages. About ten Gentlemen 
Pensioners closed the march. These gentlemen 
compose the King's special bodyguard, and consist 
of about forty persons with their officers ; their 
dress is of scarlet, with braidings and laces of 
gold. They carry small axes or halberds covered 
with crimson velvet, and ornamented with big 
silver-gilt nails. They mount guard on Sundays 
and on certain weekdays, only half their number 
being habitually on duty. These places can be 
purchased, and bring in about one hundred pounds 

I was surprised at seeing everyone making a 
profound reverence or bow as the King went by, 
which he in his turn acknowledged by a slight 
inclination of the head. The English do not con- 
sider their King to be so very much above them 


that they dare not salute him, as in France ; they 
respect him and are faithful to him, and often 
sincerely attached to him. I speak, of course, of 
those who favour the reigning family, for there are 
in England many different political parties. There 
is a custom which shows the fidelity of those who 
are attached to the King : at dessert or after a 
meal the first glass of wine that is tasted is always 
drunk to the King's health. 

Whilst His Majesty was attending service in the 
chapel we visited the interior of the Palace, which 
is very old, and said to have been built by Cardinal 
Wolsey in the reign of Henry VIII. This Palace 
does not give you the impression from outside of 
being the residence of a great king, but it is a 
large and roomy building. In the first court, where 
a company of foot-guards mount guard, is a whale's 
carcase, twenty feet long, fastened to the wall by 
iron cramps. Above the grand staircase is a room 
which is that of the Yeomen. This room is filled 
with guns, pistols, swords, and halberds, beautifully 
arranged in perfect order. From this room you 
go into that of the Gentlemen Pensioners, called 
the Presence Chamber, which is furnished with 


antique hangings, and from thence into another 
room, where the gentlemen of the Court await the 
opening of the King's apartments. The King's 
chambers consist firstly of a big room which leads 
into the bedchamber, the bed being covered with 
crimson velvet, braided and embroidered in gold. 
The bed stands in a sort of alcove, shut off from 
the rest of the room by a balustrade of gilded 
wood. To the right of the grand ante-chamber 
is the drawing - room, where the King gives 
audiences and receives ambassadors. In these 
two chambers there are canopies of purple velvet, 
embroidered in gold and silver, surmounting two 
armchairs, also covered with crimson velvet. All 
these rooms look on to the park gardens, and are 
hung with beautiful old tapestries. On the walls 
I saw excellent paintings, mostly original ; the 
chandeliers are of silver, and some of them of 
silver-gilt. Inside the Palace inclosure are the 
two chapels, one of these, the Royal Chapel, being 
in no manner remarkable. Here the King attends 
divine service every Sunday and Feast-day. The 
service is entirely musical, some of the laymen 
having superb voices ; they are aided by a dozen 


or so of chorister-boys and by some very excellent 
musicians, the whole forming a delightful sym- 
phony, and what is not sung is intoned by the 
clergy. The second chapel is much finer and 
larger, and was built by Queen Catherine, wife 
of Charles 11., for the use of the Roman Catholics. 
French and Dutch Protestant services are now 
held in this chapel. 

At about two o'clock we returned to the chamber 
called the circle or drawing-room, and found it 
already filled with ladies and gentlemen. On 
leaving chapel the King appeared with the three 
young Princesses ; he was immediately surrounded 
by a circle of persons all standing up, there being 
no chairs in the room lest anyone should be guilty 
of seating themselves. The King went to the end 
of the room and talked with the foreign ministers 
for a few minutes. Three ladies were then pre- 
sented to His Majesty; he kissed them all affection- 
ately on the lips, and I remarked that he seemed 
to take most pleasure in kissing the prettiest of the 
three. Let not this mode of greeting scandalise 
you ; it is the custom in this country, and many 
ladies would be displeased should you fail to salute 


them thus ; still some of the ladies who have 
travelled in foreign countries now offer their 
cheeks instead of their lips. The Prince and 
Princess of Wales arrived soon after the King ; 
I was surprised at this, for I know that the King 
and the Prince, his son, are not on good terms. 
The Prince and Princess, together with Prince 
William, their youngest son, and the two youngest 
Princesses, live in a mansion belonging to Lord 
Leicester, and which they rent from him. As 
soon as the Princess of Wales entered the drawing- 
room the King went to greet her, treated her most 
graciously, and conversed with her for some time, 
but he did not speak to the Prince, and even 
avoided going near him. 

Three Drawing-rooms are held every week, one 
on Sundays from two till three, and the other two 
on Mondays and Fridays from eight till ten or 
eleven in the evening. These evening circles are 
much pleasanter than those held on Sundays, for 
the apartments are magnificently lighted, and more 
ladies attend them, and the latter are always an 
ornament to society. 

You will be interested, I think, to know more 


about the King, the Prince and Princess, and their 
children. The King is about sixty-five years of 
age ; he is short of stature and very corpulent, 
though not hindered in his movements by his size ; 
his cheeks are pendent, and his eyes are too big ; 
he looks kind and amiable, but those who do not 
like him say he is not generous in money matters ; 
he seems to be very discerning, and knows all 
about the affairs of his own country and about 
those of foreign nations ; he is fond of pleasures, 
and especially of those of the chase and of the 
table. His Majesty often invites five or six noble- 
men to supper, and at these familiar little parties 
liberty and gaiety reign supreme. The King is 
fond of women ; he has a mistress, sister of the 
Duke of Schulenburg, officer in the service of 
Venice. The King has created her Duchess of 
Kendal and of Munster in Ireland ; she is a fine, 
handsome woman, and said to be very benevolent 
and charitable. The King is very fond of her, yet 
he is not always quite faithful to her, amusing him- 
self with passing intrigues every now and then. 

The Prince of Wales is about forty-three. He 
is taller than his father, his figure well-proportioned, 


and he is not as stout ; his eyes are very prominent. 
He looks serious and even grave, and is always 
richly dressed, being fond of fine clothes. I am 
told the Prince is not as kindly as his father, and 
he is not as popular, being very hasty and easily 

The Princess of Wales is about forty-one years 
of age, and is of the House of Brandenburg- 
Anspach. She has been one of the most beautiful 
princesses in Europe, but has grown too stout. 
She is witty and well-read, and speaks four or five 
different languages, and she is gracious and amiable, 
besides being very charitable and kind ; but the 
enemies of the House of Hanover complain that 
she is too economical. When the King and his 
son disagreed, and the latter was ordered to leave 
the Palace, the King did all in his power to per- 
suade the Princess to remain with him, but she 
would not, and insisted on following her husband. 

The Prince and Princess of Wales have seven 
children — two sons and five daughters. Prince 
Frederick, the eldest son, was brought up in 
Hanover, and still resides in that country. The 
three princesses who live with their grandfather 


the King are named Anne, Amelia, and Caroline.* 
Princess Anne is very pale, and would be good- 
looking were she not marked with small-pox. She 
is sixteen years of age. Princess Amelia, a hand- 
some blonde with charming features, is fourteen 
years of age, and Princess Caroline, who is not 
yet thirteen, is very tall and stout, and looks like 
a woman. She is good-looking, with very dark 
hair. The other children are Prince William, aged 
five, Princess Mary, aged three, the youngest child, 
Princess Louisa, being only a year old. After the 
Royal Family had left the circle, we went to walk 
in St. James's Park. At one end of the park is 
a space called the Parade, for every morning a 
battalion of the foot -guards parade in this place, 
and from thence proceed to mount guard before 
St. James's Palace, before the Prince of Wales's 
mansion, and at the Tower. Along one side of 
the Palace is a magnificent place for the game 
of pall-mall, which extends the entire length of 

* Frederick, afterwards Prince of Wales, was father of George III. 
and died in 1751. Anne, Princess Royal, married William, Prince of 
Orange, and died in 1759. Amelia died unmarried in 1786. Caroline 
is probably a mistake for Elizabeth, who died 1758. 


the park, and is bordered on either side by a long 
avenue of trees. This place is no longer used for 
the game, but is a promenade, and every spring 
it is bestrewn with tiny sea-shells, which are then 
crushed by means of a heavy roller. St. James's 
Park contains several avenues of elm and lime 
trees, two large ponds, and a pretty little island ; 
in a word, this is an enchanting spot in summer 
time. Society comes to walk here on fine, wairm 
days, from seven to ten in the evening,- and in 
winter from one to three o'clock. English men 
and women are fond of walking, and the park is 
so crowded at times that you cannot help touch- 
ing your neighbour. Some people come to see, 
some to be seen, and others to seek their for- 
tunes ; for many priestesses of Venus are abroad, 
some of them magnificently attired, and all on the 
look-out for adventures, and many young men are 
not long in repenting that they have become ac- 
quainted with such beautiful and amiable nymphs. 
The ponds are covered with wild ducks and geese, 
deer and roe^deer are so tame that they eat out 
of your hand, and there is little danger of being 
attacked in the park or in the neighbourhood of 


the Palace, for should the offender be taken up 
in any of these privileged parts, the laws would 
condemn him to lose his hand. No one can be 
taken up and imprisoned for debt so long as he 
does not leave the vicinity of the Palace. 

I intend taking you with me in imagination in 
order to show you the most curious sights and 
interesting parts of London. Let us therefore 
leave the Palace and visit Westminster Abbey. 
We must cross the park, two narrow and dirty 
streets, and we shall find ourselves in a very ancient 
church dedicated to St. Peter, and called the Abbey, 
because in Roman Catholic times this was a Bene- 
dictine monastery. The principal entrance is on 
the west ; the interior is long and narrow, and the 
roof upheld by rows of massive columns. Divine 
service is held in a small space like the choir of the 
Cathedral of Lausanne. As in all the other cathe- 
drals, colleges, and chapels of England, the service 
is entirely musical. The kings of;, England are 
crowned and buried in this church. In the northern 
part are the tombs of several peers and noblemen. 
I saw those of the Dukes of Newcastle ; that of the 
last Duke of the Holies family, now extinct, is 

I.— E 


particularly magnificent, for it is ornamented with 
statues and columns of the finest marble. The 
tombs of celebrated scholars and poets are in the 
southern part of the church, amongst them being 
those of Milton, Shakespeare, Prior, Dryden, and 
St. Evremond. We will now visit the sepulchres 
of the kings. By giving sixpence to a guardian 
we shall be shown all the objects of interest in the 
Abbey. Our conductor, holding a stick in his hand, 
and speaking so quickly that I had much difficulty 
in understanding him, conducted us behind the 
choir and showed us three or four chapels, all filled 
with the tombs of ancient kings, queens, and peers 
of the kingdom. I did not see anything of par- 
ticular interest excepting the tomb and statue of a 
young girl about twelve years of age, whom the 
guide told us was the daughter of Henry V. She 
is said to have died through pricking her finger 
with a needle whilst embroidering. At that time 
surgeons cannot have been very clever. After 
visiting the tombs we were shown the chapel where 
the kings of England are crowned, and called on 
that account the Royal Chapel. In this part of the 
Abbey there are also the tombs of some former 


kings without any ornament or statues, but with 
Latin epitaphs. On that of Edward I. there is a 
sword more than seven or eight feet in length, and 
a shield of enormous size. We were told they 
were the weapons used by that king, but they 
looked like the weapons of Goliath. In this same 
chapel we saw a very ancient chair made of wood 
and gilt, on which the kings of England are 
crowned. On the day of the great ceremony 
this chair is covered with crimson velvet. A large 
stone is firmly set under the seat of this venerable 
chair, and we are assured that it is the same stone 
the patriarch Jacob slept on when he dreamed his 
famous dream. You must own you did not expect 
me to find such a relic as this in a Protestant church. 
However, nothing is truer, and this stone is kept 
with the greatest care, having been taken from the 
Scots by the English several centuries ago. 

From this Royal Chapel we went into another 
built by Henry VII. at very great expense to serve 
as his sepulchre. This is a magnificent chapel of 
large size, and on every side there are bas-reliefs 
and carvings, both in wood and stone. On the 
wooden seats intended for the canons there are 


carvings of a very immodest design, but the figures 
are so small that they generally pass unperceived. 
We saw the tombs of Henry VII. and of his 
spouse, of massive bronze. In another chapel is 
the tomb of the famous Queen Elizabeth, also in 
bronze, surrounded by a balustrade of the same 
metal forming a royal crown. In a sort of closet 
are the waxen figures of King William III. and 
of Queen Mary his wife, and said to be very good 
likenesses ; we were informed that the royal robes 
they wear are the same the King and Queen wore 
for their coronation, the precious stones and pearls 
having been replaced by false ones. In another 
closet we saw the figures of Charles J I., of General 
Monk, and of a Duchess of Richmond, of wonderful 

I think we have sojourned long enough among 
the dead and their tombs. Let us go into the 
House of Parliament, which is close to the Abbey. 
In former times this building was a royal palace, 
large and spacious, but it was almost entirely 
destroyed by fire, nothing but a large hall and 
a few rooms remaining. The hall is about 280 
feet long and 50 wide ; it is filled on either side 


by booths occupied by booksellers, silversmiths, 
printers, and picture -dealers. Above the booths 
are numerous flags and standards taken from 
England's enemies. On the western side at one 
end of the hall are the two principal tribunals of 
justice. One of these is the High Chancellor's 
Court, where he is sole judge, though he occasion- 
ally consults some of his several assistants. The 
second tribunal is that of the King's Bench, com- 
posed of four judges. There is a third magistrates' 
court at the other end of the hall, composed of 
four judges, where civil lawsuits are pleaded. A 
curious custom is that of the Lord Chancellor and 
other judges carrying large nosegays of flowers in 
their hands, the reason of this apparently being 
that the scent of the flowers is expected to help 
them to keep awake during the pleadings. During 
the hours the tribunals are open the hall is crowded 
with barristers and lawyers without hats, wearing 
big wigs and clad in long robes. Between the 
two first courts is a staircase, at the top of which 
there is a door through which you enter a fine, 
large, newly-built hall called the Petition Chamber, 
where the Lords of the High Chamber and the 


members of the Lower House may rest when the 
sittings are too lengthy. Adjoining this hall are 
two or three coffee-rooms and an eating-room, 
where food may be procured ; silversmiths and 
booksellers have portable stalls in this same place. 
Leaving this hall for another, where footmen await 
their masters, you find a passage by which you 
enter the House of Peers or Lords. 

This House, or Chamber, is large, and longer 
than it is broad. At the opposite end you see 
a large canopy of purple velvet, braided and fringed 
with gold and silver ; the arms of England are 
embroidered in relief on the front of this canopy, 
under which is a large armchair raised on a sort 
of platform. A low footstool, covered with a 
cushion, placed before it, allows the King when 
seated to rest his feet if he so wills it. This 
armchair, the stool, and the cushion are all of 
purple velvet, like the canopy, and fringed with 
gold and silver. The platform and steps are 
hidden by an oriental carpet. Such is the King's 
throne. On His Majesty's right hand is a chair 
without arms for the Prince of Wales, and on his 
left, though one step lower, is a similar chair for 


the Duke of York, the King's brother. These 
chairs are also covered with purple velvet trimmed 
with gold and silver fringes. The two archbishops 
have little seats on the right of the King's throne ; 
these seats are placed against the wall, and end 
where the fireplace begins. On the other side, and 
also against the wall, are two long benches for 
the bishops. Dukes, marquises, and earls have 
three benches on the left of the throne all along 
the hall, and the remaining part against the wall 
is filled with benches for the viscounts and barons. 
Between the throne and these seats there are six 
large and long sacks filled with wool. The Lord 
Chancellor, who is at the same time President of 
the Chamber, sits on the first of these sacks at 
the foot of the throne ; the high judges of the 
kingdom, the councillors of state, and the masters 
of Chancery sit on the others ; the last of these 
bales or sacks is destined for the use of the judges, 
clerks, and secretaries, these having a square table 
placed before them covered with a Turkey table- 
cloth. All these seats are upholstered and covered 
with red cloth, as are also the bales of wool, which 
are placed in this hall according to an ancient 


custom, intended to remind Parliament of the 
great wealth England has derived from woollen 
merchandise, and in order to encourage the de- 
velopment of this branch of her industry. The 
hall is hung with tapestries formerly belonging to 
Mary Queen of Scots, and which she is supposed 
to have embroidered, with the help of her ladies, 
during her long captivity. These tapestries are all 
of silk, and represent the history of the famous 
Spanish Armada which Philip II. of Spain sent 
against Queen Elizabeth. This is an immense 
piece of work ; you see the fleet sailing from the 
ports of Spain, its dispersal by storm, and its final 
destruction by the English fleet. 

We will now visit the House of Commons. This 
is a large square hall, the seats placed in such a 
way as to hold as many members as possible. 
Everyone sits where he likes, without distinction of 
rank. The Speaker or President of the Chamber 
alone sits in a slightly elevated chair in the middle 
of the room, the clerks and secretaries being seated 
at a table before him. The walls and the seats of 
this chamber are draped and covered with green 


cloth. There is a gallery above, and here noblemen 
and those who have permission may listen to the 
debates. In this former ancient palace there are 
other rooms, and also apartments for the King, for 
the Prince of Wales, and for the Peers when they 
don their robes and habiliments of ceremony and 

About a month after my arrival in London, the 
King went in state to adjourn Parliament. I was 
fortunate enough to see the entire ceremony, and as 
it is well worth relating, I will describe it to you. 

At about midday the Peers and the members of 
the Commons retire into their respective chambers 
to don their robes. Those of the Peers are very 
long and ample, scarlet in colour, and bordered 
with ermine. The dukes' robes of state have five 
bands of gold across the sleeves, from shoulder to 
elbow, divided by as many bands of ermine. 
Counts or earls have three bands, viscounts and 
barons two. Those noblemen who belong to the 
Order of the Garter or to the Order of the Thisde 
wear the golden collars of those orders over their 
robes, fastened on the shoulders with wide black 


The princes of the Church wear their episcopal 
garments, which are ample white surplices of cambric, 
and over these their scarves. Instead of hats they 
wear flat, square black caps, trimmed with a thick 
tuft of black silk. Peers and noblemen never wear 
their robes of state except when the King goes to 
Parliament. About a quarter of an hour before the 
King's arrival the Grand Chamberlain of his house- 
hold, accompanied by several minor officers, visits 
the underground passages and all the lower apart- 
ments of the ancient Palace of Westminster, this 
being a custom which has always been continued ever 
since the famous and terrible Gunpowder Treason 
Plot, which story you know full well. The King 
leaves the Palace of St. James usually at one 
o'clock. Grenadiers on horseback open the march, 
and are followed by three or four of the King's 
coaches with the royal pages ; after the coaches 
come four mace-bearers, two footmen, and some 
officers of the royal household ; next, a detachment 
of Grenadiers on horseback, followed by about 
twenty Yeomen, carrying halberds on their shoulders, 
and marching two and two. This detachment is 
followed by four-and-twenty footmen with swords 


at their sides, and with sticks in their hands, their 
livery being scarlet, with vests and facings of blue, 
braided on the seams with two rows of gold braid, 
between which are two rows of velvet. Instead of 
hats they always wear small caps of black velvet, 
which they are never seen to take off. The state 
coach, drawn by eight splendid horses, then appears. 
The horses are not fat and heavy animals such as 
usually draw coaches, but are fine and elegant, 
more suited for the saddle and parade than for 
drawing a heavy coach. Their harness is very 
ornate and rich, and so are all the ornaments of 
this fine coach, all the woodwork of which is carved 
and doubly gilt, the doors being beautifully and 
delicately painted. The front and sides have large 
mirrors, and the back and outside are lined with 
red leather, ornamented with gilt nails, the inside 
being of crimson velvet, embroidered in gold, with 
heavy gold fringes. The King only makes use of 
the eight splendid horses and of this magnificent 
coach when he goes in state to Parliament. Four 
Yeomen walk on either side, and a detachment of 
Guards on horseback with their officers close the 
march. An infinite number of the populace, called 


in England "mob," follow on either side, calling 
out " Hurrah ! " and throwing their caps in the air, 
this being the " Vive le Roi " of the English. 

Two gentlemen are habitually seated with the 
King in his coach, one of them being his Grand 
Equerry and the other his Gentleman of the 
Chamber. At the precise minute the King sets 
his foot on the ground, and also when he enters 
his coach to return to the Palace, twenty-one shots 
are fired from cannon posted on the river side, 
opposite the Houses of Parliament. 

The Lord Chancellor and four noblemen of the 
King's palace receive His Majesty at the foot of 
the stairs, and accompany him into his own apart- 
ments, where he dons a robe of crimson velvet, 
bordered with ermine ; round his neck the collar , 
of the Order of the Garter is placed, and on his 
head a royal crown of gold enriched with magnifi- 
cent gems, the cap surmounting it being of crimson 
velvet. The King then passes into the hall, 
preceded by four mace-bearers, by a peer carrying 
the sword of state, and by the Lord Chancellor 
wearing a long robe of black velvet braided and 
fringed with gold along and across the sleeves, and 


carrying a large purse or sort of square bag of 
crimson velvet, containing the Great Seal, the 
arms of England being embroidered on this purse 
in gold and silver. On whatever occasion the 
Lord Chancellor appears in public, he carries this 

The mace-bearers stand in couples on either side 
of the throne, and when the King is seated they 
are obliged to kneel. As soon as His Majesty is 
ready to receive them, the messenger of the House 
of Peers is ordered by the Lord Chancellor to call 
in the Commons. I forgot to mention that there 
is in the House of Lords a large open space with- 
out seats, separated from the remainder of the hall 
by a wooden balustrade, called in French " Barre," 
and above this space there is a big projecting 
gallery, where the foreign ministers and the ladies 
of the Court usually sit on those eventful days 
when the King goes to Parliament. 

The members of the Lower House, having the 
President or Speaker at their head, proceed to the 
Upper House and stand in the empty space behind 
the " Barre." Here the Speaker, dressed in a 
scarlet robe, addresses the King, and in a speech 


informs His Majesty of the topics which have been 
discussed in the House, and then reads out the 
titles of those bills which have been passed and 
which are inscribed on two rolls of parchment. 
His Majesty gives his consent to the passing of 
these bills, and the Recorder announces the fact 
in the French or rather Norman tongue by the 
words, " Le Roi le veult," or, " Soit fait comme 
il est ddsir6." After this declaration, the Lord 
Chancellor, standing up, reads the King's Speech, 
approving of all that the Chambers have done 
during the Session, and in particular he thanks 
the Commons for the subsidies he has received 
during the year, and he ends by announcing the 
adjournment of Parliament until a given time, per- 
mitting each member to retire to his own county 
and country seat should he desire to do so. 

Queen Anne was in the habit of reading her 
own speeches, but as the present reigning King 
cannot speak English, the Lord Chancellor is 
obliged to replace him. I cannot to-day tell you 
of the laws, customs, and privileges of the Houses 
of Parliament ; you must study The Present State 


of Great Britain, by Chamberlaine, which book 
has been translated into French. 

As I am not writing you a book, but a long 
letter, it is time I ended, assuring you that I am 
yours from my heart. 


Whitehall Palace— The Admiralty— The streets of London— The 
Watch— Houses of London — Squares and Places — The City 
— Temple Bar — Fleet Ditch — Ludgate — St. Paul's— Guildhall 
— Stock Exchange — Shop signs — The Monument — London 
Bridge — Southwark — The Customs— Tower of London — King's 
Menagerie — Regalia in the Tower — Smithfield — Moorfields — 
Bedlam — The Thames. 

London, December i6, 1725 

In my last letter I commenced a description of 
London, but perceiving that my epistle was getting 
too lengthy, I concluded that a rest would be good 
for both of us. I now take up my pen once more 
and continue where I left off. 

Whitehall, once a vast and handsome palace, 
used to be the usual residence of the kings of 
England. This palace was burnt down in 1698, 
and I know not whether it was from negligence, 
or from what cause, very little was attempted to 
save this building from utter destruction, and only 



the banqueting house and an old chapel, since 
pulled down, and a few rooms of the King's 
apartments were saved ; these latter are now part 
of the mansion belonging to the Duke of Port- 
land, and there is nothing of interest to be seen 
in the building except the banqueting house, 
which remains as it was in former times, and is 
a large isolated building of magnificent architec- 
ture, containing beautiful paintings. It is built of 
freestone, and the front is ornamented with a 
double row of columns and pillars. The interior 
consists of a single hall, the ceiling of which is 
painted in fresco by the famous Rubens. James I. 
is here portrayed surrounded by different figures, 
representing Abundance, Peace, Justice, Strength, 
and other virtues. This hall was built for the 
purpose of receiving ambassadors, or addresses, 
and for giving banquets. To-day a very different 
use is made of this hall, for it is used as a chapel, 
large and magnificent, and divine service, according 
to the Protestant Anglican service, is held "in it. 

Behind this building is a pretty square, in the 
centre of which is a bronze statue of James II. 
The ground around belongs to the Crown, and 

I. — F 


parts of it have been let to different lords and 
noblemen for a term of years, on which pretty and 
picturesque mansions overlooking the river have 
been built for their residence. The wide street in 
front of the banqueting hall is paved with little 
square stones, and here you see the very ancient 
gate of Westminster, remarkable for its Gothic 
architecture and also for its antiquity. It was in 
this wide street that a scaffold was erected, ad- 
joining the banqueting house, and the unfortunate 
King Charles I., stepping through one of the 
windows, was led to the block, where he lost his 

The Admiralty is situated fifty paces further on, 
and is a fine building recently completed. The 
chief, or president, of the Admiralty resides here ; 
the noblemen who compose the Board assemble 
in its walls ; and you can generally see many well- 
known sea-captains and men on business intent. 

Continuing your walk up the street, you reach 
Charing Cross. This is a large triangular place 
with the equestrian statue of King Charles I. in 
bronze. This statue is said to be a work of art. 
The story goes that the maker of it, seeing his 


statue so much admired, was almost beside himself 
with joy and pride ; but having examined it more 
carefully, he suddenly discovered that he had 
omitted the girths of the saddle, and his despair 
was such at knowing that there was no remedy for 
the defect that he went and hanged himself This 
man was without doubt an Englishman ; this trait 
depicts his energetic character. 

Do not expect me to describe to you all the 
streets of London. I should have too much to do, 
and we should get tired of one another. A number 
of them are dirty, narrow, and badly built ; others 
again are wide and straight, bordered with fine 
houses. Most of the streets are wonderfully well 
lighted, for in front of each house hangs a lantern 
or a large globe of glass, inside of which is placed 
a lamp which burns all night. Large houses have 
two of these lamps suspended outside their doors 
by iron supports, and some have even four. The 
streets of London are unpleasantly full either of 
dust or of mud. This arises from the quantity of 
houses that are continually being built, and also 
from the large number of coaches and chariots 
rolling in the streets day and night. Carts are 


used for removing mud, and in the summer time 
the streets are watered by carts carrying barrels, 
or casks, pierced with holes, through which the 
water flows. 

Another of the unpleasantnesses of the streets 
is that the pavement is so bad and rough that when 
you drive in a coach you are most cruelly shaken, 
whereas if you go on foot you have a nice smooth 
path paved with wide flat stones, and elevated 
above the road ; but I believe I have mentioned 
this before. 

London does not possess any watchmen, either 
on foot or on horseback as in Paris, to prevent 
murder and robbery ; the only watchman you see is 
a man in every street carrying a stick and a lantern, 
who, every time the clock strikes, calls out the hour 
and state of the weather. The first time this man 
goes on his rounds he pushes the doors of the shops 
and houses with his stick to ascertain whether they 
are properly fastened, and if they are not he warns 
the proprietors. 

I must own that Englishmen build their houses 
with taste ; it is not possible to make a better use 
of ground, or to have more comfortable houses. It 


is surprising to see in what a small space they will 
build, and in what an incredibly short time. The 
houses are of bricks ; the walls are thin, most of 
them having only one foot and a half thickness. The 
finest houses sometimes have cornices and borders 
to divide the floors, and round the doors and 
windows you occasionally see a sort of polished 
marble. In all the newly -built quarters the houses 
have one floor made in the earth, containing the 
kitchens, offices, and servants' rooms. This floor 
is well lighted, and has as much air as the others 
have. In order to accomplish this a sort of moat, 
five or six feet in width and eight or nine deep, is 
dug in front of all the houses, and is called the 
"area." This moat is edged on the side next the 
street with an iron railing. The cellars and vaults 
where coal is stored are very strongly built beneath 
the streets, and to reach them you cross the area. 
Hangings are little used in London houses on 
account of the coal smoke, which would ruin. them, 
besides which woodwork is considered to be cleaner 
and prevents damp on the walls. Almost all the 
houses have little gardens or courtyards at the 


I think I have already told you that houses are 
built for a term of years, and I must tell you the 
reason why ; it rarely happens that the person who 
builds also possesses the ground. The ground is 
habitually let for ninety-nine years, but sometimes 
also for sixty-six years, or even less. The con- 
tractor builds according to the term of years. 
Should the ground be leased for sixty years, he will 
not build so thoroughly as for ninety-nine, and he 
knows so exactly what is required, that houses are 
often on the point of tumbling down a short time 
before or after the term has expired. The pro- 
prietor of the ground then regains possession of his 
property and of the house, good or bad. 

London has many fine open spaces called 
squares, because they are of that shape. The 
centres of these squares are shut in by railings of 
painted w^ood, and contain gardens with flowers, 
trees, and paths. Those of Soho, of Leicester 
Fields, of the Red Lion, and the Golden Square 
are in this style. Those of Hanover and Cavendish 
are not yet finished, and belong to the newly-built 
quarter. That of St. James is fine ; it is sur- 
rounded with handsome houses belonging to 


wealthy noblemen. In the centre of this square 
is a fine fountain, surrounded by iron balustrades, 
with lanterns at equal distances. Going towards 
the City you see another big place, named by the 
French " Commun - Jardin," and by the English 
Covent Garden. Every sort of flower, fruit, and 
garden produce is sold here. It is surrounded on 
two sides by fine arcades, which are most con- 
venient for shelter in bad weather. From this 
place you can continue to Lincoln's Inn Fields, 
where there is nothing in particular to be seen 
except some fine mansions, those belonging to the 
Duke of Ancaster and to the Duke of Newcastle 
being particularly magnificent. Quite close to this 
place is the spacious college of Lincoln's Inn ; it is 
composed of several buildings and courts, where a 
quantity of young students, called by the name of 
" Lawyers," reside. They have a fine and well- 
kept garden, open to honest folk. A little further 
is another fine college — Gray's Inn — which is like- 
wise destined for lawyers. The finest mansions 
in London are those belonging to the Duke of 
Buckingham, in St. James's Park ; of the Duke of 
Montagu, in Great Russell Street ; and that of the 


Duke of Bedford, in Bloomsbury Square. The 
two first- mentioned are magnificent residences, 
rendered so by their architecture, their paintings, 
sculptures, gilding, and works of art and decora- 
tion. I have not as yet written a word about 
London Town or City ; I have only described the 
town of Westminster and its suburbs, and it is time 
to tell you of this wonderful City, so famed for its 
riches and grandeur. 

Supposing we start from Charing Cross, we must 
follow a fine street called the Strand, about a mile 
in length and very wide in some parts. Let us 
stop for a few minutes in our walk to look at the 
Somerset House, which was built in the time 
of Edward VL, in the low Italian fashion then in 
vogue. Its courtyard is surrounded with arcades, 
and at the back there is a big garden stretching 
down to the river. This palace is the residence 
of the Queen Dowager, and a guard is mounted 
before it, as before all the royal palaces. At the 
end of the Strand is a fine large gate called Temple 
Bar, having four statues in niches. This gate is 
the first of the City, and when any proclamation 
has to be made of peace or of war, of the death 


of a king or of the accession of his successor to 
the throne, the Herald-at-Arms and his officers 
find the gate closed ; they knock at it thrice, and 
my Lord Mayor, who is on the other side with 
his aldermen, inquires, " Who is there ? " The 
officers of the King make answer that they are 
ordered to proclaim such and such a thing, my 
lord permitting. The Lord Mayor then consults 
his aldermen as to whether they can consent or 
not, and as you may believe, the answer is never 
in the negative. Leaving Temple Bar, you will 
see on your right hand a spacious college called 
the Temple, which in former times belonged to the 
Knights Templars, hence its name. The Temple 
is now used as a college for London lawyers ; it 
is surrounded by walls, and contains some fine 
buildings, gardens, and a church ; in fact this in- 
closure is like a little town. 

After passing through the, gate of Temple Bar 
you find yourself in Fleet Street, a mile in length, 
at the end of which is Fleet Ditch, a sort of canal, 
where big barges come up with the help of the 
tide. The houses on either side of this canal 
possess two singular privileges, one of them being 


that no one can be taken up for debt when in this 
part of London, and the other allowing you to 
get married without any licence or publication of 
banns. Sailors and people of the common sort 
make great use of this latter privilege, their 
marriage being blessed in some tavern or pot- 
house, the priest being paid with half a crown 
and a bottle of wine. 

Leaving Fleet Ditch, you come to Ludgate Hill. 
This is not a long street, but a wide and hand- 
some one, and is entirely occupied by merchants' 
wares, silken tissues of beautiful and costly kinds 
being sold here. At the end of the street is the 
gate, named after King Lud, said to have been 
the founder of London. This gate is ornamented 
on one side with statues of this legendary king 
and of his two sons, and on the other side, facing 
St. Paul's, with a statue of Queen Elizabeth. On 
this gate you see the heads of persons who have 
been executed for high treason stuck on stakes, 
and I was shown a head said to be that of Oliver 

At the end of a short wide street, opposite this 
gate, the superb cathedral of St. Paul stands out 

ST. PAUL'S 75 

before you. This edifice is the most truly mag- 
nificent of all London and England. I cannot give 
you an exact account of this building — it would 
weary you; but it took fifty years in building and 
cost enormous sums, being constructed of hand- 
some white stone from Portland. I am told that 
this cathedral is 700 feet long and 150 wide, and 
its height more than 150. It is built in the shape 
of a cross, the arms, which are not long, composing 
the centre of the edifice. The principal fagade is 
at the western end, and possesses a superb door- 
way above a fine flight of steps. This door is 
ornamented with two porticoes, one above the 
other, supported by handsome columns, between 
which are fine statues in niches. The columns of 
the second portico support a magnificent triangular 
parapet, on which is sculptured in bas-relief the 
history of the conversion of St. Paul ; the statue 
of this saint is placed on the highest point of the 
parapet. The statues of the other apostles stand 
on the cornice near the roof, and from the street 
seem to be life-sized. This fine facade is flanked 
by two small round towers, and is terminated by 
a dome supported by beautiful columns. In one 


of the towers is a clock, said to be the most reliable 
in London. Still on the western side, there is a 
sort of court shut off by iron railings that continue 
all round the edifice ; in the centre is the statue 
of Queen Anne, sculptured by a clever artist in 
beautiful white marble, this Queen being repre- 
sented clad in her royal robes, the sceptre in her 
hand, and the royal crown on her head. The 
centre of the cathedral is surmounted by a mag- 
nificent round tower, over three hundred feet in 
height, surrounded by a portico, the columns of 
which are thirty feet in height. They support a 
fine gallery bordered with a balustrade of pilasters. 
A remarkably handsome dome, covered with lead 
and seventy feet high, surmounts the tower. Above 
this dome is a lantern forty feet high, ornamented 
on the outside with columns. At the base of the 
lantern there is a little gallery surrounded by a 
railing of gilt bronze. From this elevation on a 
fine day, when the atmosphere is clear, you can see 
the whole of London and also the Thames and the 
pastures around. This is one of the finest views 
in the world, and my words cannot give you any 
real idea of its beauty ; so let us leave it and visit 


the dome and the interesting frescoes representing 
the Twelve Apostles, by the celebrated painter 
Godfrey Kneller, for these paintings are held in 
great admiration by connoisseurs. In the centre 
of the interior of the tower is a circular gallery 
with railings of gilt iron. In this place I made a 
curious experiment in what in French is called 
"physique." . One of my friends stood at a point 
in the gallery, exactly opposite to me. He laid his 
ear against the wall, whilst I put my lips against it 
and spoke as low as possible. My friend caught 
every word I spoke, whereas others who were 
on the same gallery between us did not catch a 
syllable. I must not try to explain this problem, 
especially to such a scholarly and learned man as 
you are. 

Let us descend into the church. Nothing can 
be more majestic and superb than the columns, 
pilasters, and entire decoration of this building. 
Divine service is held in the choir, which is shut 
off by a beautiful screen of various kinds of marble, 
with a bronze door. This part of the church con- 
tains many fine sculptures in wood and in stone, 
and above the altar is an excellent piece of painting 


by Kneller, " The Conversion of St. Paul." I am 
afraid I have kept you too long at St. Paul's, but 
if you could see this church you would never be 
weary of admiring its magnificence, for it passes — 
and justly, I think — for being one of the finest in 
the world. I have always heard that the three 
handsomest churches the world contains are those 
of St. Sophia in Constantinople, St. Peter in Rome, 
and St. Paul in London. But let us pass to other 
subjects, for I feel full well that, whatever I might 
say, I could never give you a perfect picture of the 
beautiful reality. 

After leaving St. Paul's we pass into a fine 
street called Cheapside, and thence to the Guild- 
hall. This is a spacious edifice built in antique 
fashion, the exterior being in no way remarkable. 
In the large entrance hall you see life-sized por- 
traits of William III. and Mary his wife, and those 
of different Lord Chancellors and judges of the 
kingdom. The Lord Mayor's banquets are held 
in this hall. The church of St. Mary-le-Bow in 
Cheapside is one of the finest in London, and has 
the most remarkable peal of bells in England. 
The Stock Market is at the end of this street. 


The equestrian statue in marble of Charles II., 
treading Oliver Cromwell under his horse's feet, 
stands before it. In the middle of Cornhill is the 
Royal Exchange, and we will stop here a few 
minutes. This building is spacious and handsome, 
built in modern style of the beautiful Portland 
stone. The architecture of the front looking to- 
wards Cornhill and that of the tower above is 
remarkably fine. In this tower is a clock, and a 
chime which rings different tunes. In the interior 
of the building is a large, square court with four 
gates, two large and two small, leading into it. 
The sides of this court are ornamented with fine 
porticoes, supported by tall and massive columns. 
In the centre is the statue of Charles II., clad in 
Roman draperies, on a pedestal carved with bas- 
reliefs, the whole being surmounted by a balustrade 
of iron. Statues of all the kings of England, be- 
ginning with William the Conqueror, are placed in 
niches on the floor above, those of King William 
and Queen Mary being in one and the same niche. 
George I., present King of England, is the last, 
but several empty niches are ready for his succes- 
sors. In the square court and under the porticoes 


merchants congregate and discuss their business. 
From about one till two o'clock they stand in great 
numbers, and you can scarcely make your exit if 
you happen to be in the court at that hour. Mer- 
chants of every nation and of every country and 
foreign languages of every sort are to be seen 
and heard around. On either side of the Royal 
Exchange two large flights of stairs lead up to the 
first floor, where there are four galleries or wide 
passages, with booths along either side covered 
with rich merchandise, jewellery, and other tempt- 
ing wares. These stalls bring in much money, 
and so do the vaults beneath the building, which 
are let for the storage of merchandise. It is said 
that this is the wealthiest corner of the earth, as 
it covers relatively a small space of ground, and 
brings in more than two thousand pounds sterling 
a year. There are many taverns in the neigh- 
bourhood of the Royal Exchange ; they are filled 
from midday till two o'clock with, merchants. 
Change Alley, close by, is also crowded with 
money-dealers ; at times you can scarcely move. 

The four streets — the Strand, Fleet Street, 
Cheapside, and Cornhill — are, I imagine, the finest 


in Europe. What help to make them interesting 
and attractive are the shops and the signs. Every 
house, or rather every shop, has a sign of copper, 
pewter, or wood painted and gilt. Some of these 
signs are really magnificent, and have cost as much 
as one hundred pounds sterling ; they hang on big 
iron branches, and sometimes on gilt ones. The 
signs belonging to taverns and pothouses are 
generally finer than the others. Every house 
possesses one or two shops where the choicest 
merchandise from the four quarters of the globe 
is exposed to the sight of the passers-by. A 
stranger might spend whole days, without ever 
feeling bored, examining these wonderful goods. 
There is a shop opposite St. Paul's where the 
most beautiful jewellery in Europe is said to be 
found. You cannot help admiring the exquisite 
workmanship, the riches and curiosities here ex- 
posed ; but as I cannot make you see them, it is 
no use lingering any longer, and we will pass on. 

Let us visit the Monument, which is not far off. 

This is a pyramid, or more properly a column, 

raised by order of Parliament at the exact spot 

where the terrible fire of 1666 broke out, by which 

I. — G 


about two-thirds of the City was destroyed. This 
column of Portland stone is fluted in the Doric 
style, and is two hundred feet high. Inside it is 
a winding staircase of black marble, by the aid 
of which you reach a gallery or square balcony 
with railings of gilt iron. In the centre is a sort 
of vase, surmounted by an artichoke, the leaves 
being of gilt copper. The vase and the artichoke 
are about forty feet high. You can with some 
difficulty climb higher by means of an iron ladder. 
On one side of the pedestal is a fine bas-relief 
representing the Fire of London ; on the other 
three sides are inscriptions. The first, in Latin, 
relates the history of the fire ; the second, also in 
Latin, gives an account of what has been done 
to rebuild the city ; and the third, in English, 
accuses the Roman Catholics of being the authors 
of this terrible conflagration in the hope of destroy- 
ing the Protestant religion together with liberty, and 
of introducing Popery and slavery in its stead. 

When James II., who was a zealous Roman 
Catholic, ascended the throne he caused this in- 
scription to be erased ; but shortly afterwards 
William III., his son-in-law, who succeeded him, 


ordered this inscription to be engraved deeper than 
before. Leaving the Monument, you get to the 
Thames bridge, which is built of stone. A stranger 
standing on this bridge can scarcely tell it is one, 
houses on either side making it look like a pretty 
street. In the centre a space is left free, from 
which you obtain a good view of the river, with 
its different boats and ships at anchor. At the end 
of this bridge, on the London side, is a curious 
machine for pumping water and for sending it into 
different parts of the town. This machine turns 
in either direction, according to the tide, so that 
it is always in use. 

The suburb of Southwark, habitually known as 
Sodrick, lies on the opposite side of the bridge, 
and it would elsewhere be considered quite a large 
town with its five parishes. Southwark has two 
large hospitals — one for incurables and one for 
the poor and sick. Though joined to the City 
of London by the bridge, it is independent of 
that town, having its own Members of Parliament 
and its magistrates, besides being situated in the 
county of Surrey, and not, like London, in 


Let us return to this latter place, where many 
things of interest remain to be seen, amongst 
others the Custom House, called by the French 
in London " La Coutume." This is a large 
modern building near the river. On the first 
floor is a big hall with about thirty different 
offices, and here you must declare the species of 
merchandise you want brought into England, and 
pay duty on it. This hall is generally so crowded 
with merchants, captains of vessels, and other 
applicants that you have some difficulty in making 
your way in. Custom-house officers in this country 
are extraordinarily clever at discovering anything 
contraband, a share going into their pockets, 
and a stranger has often much trouble in re- 
covering his belongings. I had to go to the 
Customs several times, and wait many days, before 
I could recover my boxes, and it cost me four or 
five half-crowns, though I had no sort of contraband 
goods. It seems to me that making strangers pay 
for bringing worn clothes into a country is not 
creditable to the English nation, and I have heard 
it said it is the custom in no other country. 

We must visit the Tower, which is close by ; it 


is the citadel of London and of great antiquity. 
This building is about a mile in circumference, and 
is surrounded by a wide moat and a high wall 
flanked by towers and bastions. Being built on 
the banks of the river, it commands the town and 
the water, on which a number of cannon are 
always pointed. 

In the first inclosure you must see the King's 
menagerie, this being a small and rather dirty 
place containing ten lions, a panther, two tigers, 
and four leopards, each in his own den or cage. 
Last time I went we also saw a quantity of curious 
birds, but what amused us most was the sight of 
four young lions a few months old, born in the 
Tower, and as they were too young to be ferocious, 
they allowed us to fondle and caress them as if 
they had been little dogs. I also saw what I 
considered to be a very curious and extraordinary 
animal, which the keeper called a " Tiger-man." 
It was a very big monkey, its face, hands, and feet 
resembling those of a man more than those of any 
monkey I have ever seen, and it had a small white 
beard, giving it quite the appearance of an old 
man. Its hide was striped like that of a tiger. 


especially on the back, with handsome, well-defined, 
white, red, and black stripes. We were told that 
this animal was very intelligent, and I will give 
you a proof of this. One day, the poor beast 
being ill, a little wine was given it, which seemed 
to do it good. The rogue found it excellent, and 
having remarked that no wine was given him 
unless he was ill, he feigned sickness two or three 
times in order to receive the coveted remedy ; this 
little scheme answered at first, but one day his 
keeper, seeing him leap about with mischievous 
joy after drinking the wine, discovered the trick 
and beat him soundly. We were told that the 
captain of a ship belonging to the East India 
Company had brought this " tiger-man " some 
months before from the island of Sumatra ; we 
remarked that he seemed to suffer from the cold, 
and we predicted that he could not live long in 
such a different climate, and we were right, for he 
died about six weeks later. 

As soon as we had passed the drawbridge we 
came upon a company of Guards and Yeomen ; 
we were told to give up our swords and sticks, and 
with a Yeoman deputed to show us the curiosities 


of the place we went into the interior of the 
building. Our guide conducted us into a large, 
square, and very ancient edifice, at every corner 
of which is a square turret. In the centre of the 
building stands a tall pole or staff, from which 
a standard or flag flies on holidays. Buildings 
have from time to time been added to the ancient 
fortress. We saw the lower arsenals all filled with 
cannons of various sizes, with culverins, mortars, 
and a quantity of implements of war of every 
description. In the upper arsenal, which we visited 
next, is a long and wide hall where weapons in 
sufficient quantity to arm fifty thousand men are 
kept in readiness and in the greatest order and 
cleanliness. We were told that two hundred men 
are daily employed in this work. 

We next entered another hall containing statues 
and figures of a score or so of ancient English 
kings and of several princes and generals, all on 
horseback in full armour, with helmets on their 
heads and lances in their hands ; the horses, richly 
caparisoned, seemed ready to rush into battle. 
These figures are made to resemble the original 
persons and are of painted wood. Near the 


entrance of the hall is the figure of Henry VIII. ; 
he is represented standing in his royal robes, with 
a sceptre in his hand, and this is said to be a good 
likeness of this celebrated king. If you press a 
spot on the floor with your feet, you will see some- 
thing surprising with regard to this figure ; but I 
will not say more, and leave you to guess what 
it is. 

Leaving the hall, we were next shown the 
Treasure Chamber, which is shut off by an iron 
railing ; visitors remain in the outer half, and the 
guardian locks himself into the inner half. We 
saw a quantity of jewels and rare and precious 
treasures ; here is a list of the principal : — 

1. St. Edward's crown, with which all the kings 
who have succeeded him have been crowned. 

2. The queen's crown. 

3. The crown the king wears when in Parliament. 
The two first-mentioned crowns are of purple 
velvet, the third is of crimson velvet lined with 
white satin. They are surmounted by two crossed 
branches with a little globe above, and a cross 
above the globe. Round the lower part of the 


crown is a circle ornamented with crosses, "fleurs 
de lys," and at the lower edge of this circle is a 
border of ermine. The circle, the branches, the 
globe, and the cross are all of massive gold, 
enriched with a quantity of exceedingly precious 
stones ; these are diamonds, emeralds, rubies, 
carbuncles, and pearls of no ordinary size. The 
crown the king wears in Parliament has the little 
globe beneath the cross of a single emerald, nearly 
six inches in size, and a ruby of inestimable worth 
is let into the centre of the circlet. 

4. Two gold sceptres ornamented with jewels of 
great worth, these sceptres being carried by the 
king and queen at their coronation. 

5. The golden globe the king holds in his hand 
at the coronation. It is surmounted with a cross 
enriched with precious stones. This globe is 
divided horizontally by a circlet of pearls, another 
circlet passing over the globe. 

6. A golden ewer for holding the sacred oil, and 
a golden spoon in use at the coronation for anointing 
the king and queen. 

7. Two gold spurs worn by kings on the day of 
their coronation. 


8. An ivory sceptre named Sceptre of Peace, 
of exquisite workmanship, with a dove hovering 
over it. 

9. Three fine gold swords, the hilts of gold 
enriched with precious stones ; the sheaths are of 
purple velvet. These sv/ords are worn at the 

10. A large dpergne for the table. It is silver- 
gilt, and represents the Tower or Citadel of London, 
the four turrets being used as salt-cellars. This 
piece of plate is extremely ancient, and is placed on 
the king's table at the coronation banquet. 

The archives of the Crown are kept in the Tower, 
as also are the ancient laws of the kingdom, the 
charters or privileges different kings have accorded 
to their subjects, the documents as to their rights 
over France, and a quantity of parchments or 
historic papers. We had not the curiosity to go 
and examine these, but preferred going to see 
money coined, the Tower being the only place in 
the kingdom where this is done. 

If you wanted to see all the curiosities in the 
Tower, it would take you several days, and it would 


be to your cost, for the French proverb, " On n'a 
rien pour rien," holds good in England as elsewhere, 
and perhaps even more so. Prisoners of state, 
especially peers and persons of rank, are lodged in 
the principal building, where there are several apart- 
ments destined for their use. One may say that 
the Tower is a small town ; in its inclosure are 
several private abodes, a church, and a court of 
justice. The Governor is usually a nobleman of 
high rank. 

From here we will go on to Smithfield and to 
Aldersgate, two suburbs of the City. In the former 
place there is nothing to be seen of remarkable 
interest excepting the fine hospital of St. Bartholo- 
mew. During three days in the week Smithfield 
is filled with a quantity of animals for sale — horses, 
horned cattle, and sheep. These markets are 
almost fairs ; but there is one more important fair 
held on St. Bartholomew's Day, of a fortnight's 
duration, the place being filled with wooden booths, 
in which you can see every sort of mountebank, 
together with comedians and rope-dancers, per- 
forming. A multitude of idlers come from all parts, 
and you can take your choice of sights and pleasures, 


but I can assure you that both times I visited this 
fair I experienced little of the latter, for the noise 
and uproar is so continuous and overwhelming, 
besides which you run a perpetual risk of being 
crushed to death, and also of being robbed, for I 
think that no cleverer pickpockets exist than in this 
country, and in every crowd you must beware, else 
your pockets will soon be picked and emptied. 

To reach Moorfields you must pass Moorgate, 
which has a fine place divided by avenues of trees. 
A magnificent hospital occupies all the width of the 
place. It is one of the largest and handsomest 
buildings in London, and its frontage is said to 
resemble that of the Louvre in Paris, being in fact 
built on that model. 

This fine hospital is named Bethlehem Hospital,* 
shortened to Bedlam, and is the abode of most of 
the lunatics of London. The gate of this hospital 
is superb ; above it and on either side a statue 
represents a chained maniac. After passing through 
a court and up a small flight of steps you reach the 
door of the building, and find yourself in a long 

* Bethlehem Hospital, or Bedlam, in Moorfields, was built in 
1675, but was pulled down in 1814, when the existing asylum in 
St. George's Fields was erected. 


and wide gallery, on either side of which are a 
large number of little cells where lunatics of every 
description are shut up, and you can get a sight of 
these poor creatures, little windows being let into 
the doors. Many inoffensive madmen walk in the 
big gallery. On the second floor is a corridor and 
cells like those on the first floor, and this is the 
part reserved for dangerous maniacs, most of them 
being chained and terrible to behold. On holidays 
numerous persons of both sexes, but belonging 
generally to the lower classes, visit this hospital, 
and amuse themselves watching these unfortunate 
wretches, who often give them cause for laughter. 
On leaving this melancholy abode, you are expected 
by the porter to give him a penny, but if you 
happen to have no change and give him a silver 
coin, he will keep the whole sum and return you 
nothing. As everyone is aware of this custom, 
the porter does not often get the chance of making 
such a good thing out of you. 

So far I have hardly spoken of the Thames ; 
this river is too beautiful not to be worth a descrip- 
tion. It takes its rise in the county of Oxford, and 
is early navigable. The Thames is everywhere 


wide, beautiful, and peaceful; the nearer it flows 
towards London the wider it becomes, on account 
of small tributaries and of the tide, which is felt as 
far as twelve miles above. You can judge of the 
width of the Thames by the length of London 
Bridge, which is not built over the widest part of 
the river, yet is eight hundred feet long. You 
cannot see anything more charming and delightful 
than this river. Above the bridge it is covered with 
craft of every sort ; round about London there are 
at least 15,000 boats for the transport of persons, 
and numbers of others for that of merchandise. 
Besides these boats there are others called barges 
or galleys, painted, carved, and gilt. Nothing is 
more charming and attractive than the Thames on 
a fine summer evening ; the conversations you hear 
are most entertaining, for I must tell you that it is 
the custom for anyone on the water to call out 
whatever he pleases to other occupants of boats, 
even were it to the King himself, and no one has 
a right to be shocked. Some of my friends have 
told me that on the river Queen Anne was often 
called " Boutique d'Eau-de-vie," because of her 
well-known liking for the bottle and spirituous 


liquors. Most bargemen are very skilful in this 
mode of warfare ; they use singular and even quite 
extraordinary terms, and generally very coarse and 
dirty ones, and I cannot explain them to you. 

In the midst of the river, opposite Somerset 
House, a large boat called The Folly is anchored. 
This is a big flat craft, on which a sort of house, 
two floors high, with many windows, is built. This 
house is decorated with paintings inside and out. 
The first floor consists of a large room in which 
you find a band of musicians, and water-nymphs 
eating and drinking with tritons and other sea 
divinities who go and visit them. On the second 
floor are a few small apartments where the nymphs, 
or more properly syrens, tired of the world, retire, 
and, for fear of being lonely, invite a friend to 
amuse them. From the top of the building there 
is an enchanting view of the city and river. 

The Thames below the bridge is almost hidden 
by merchant vessels from every country. All these 
ships are anchored in rows, forming streets with 
open passages between. The French vessels form 
one line, the Dutch another, those that transport 
coal from Newcastle a third, and so on. In this 


way you can easily discover any ship you desire 
to look for, and the arrangement as viewed from 
the bridge is charming. The tide always rises 
twice in twenty-four hours, and brings vessels con- 
taining immense riches from every quarter of the 

One may truly say that the River Thames is the 
foster-mother of this great city, for besides pro- 
viding her with a prodigious quantity of fish, she 
carries on her surface the greater part of the food 
that the big town consumes. 

Now, dear sir, this is a curtailed description of 
the magnificent city of London. I could write a 
book and not a letter, if I wished to describe 
everything I have seen. I should like to tell you 
of the charming surroundings, and of many curious 
and interesting sights I have witnessed, such as the 
investiture of the Knights of the Bath and the 
Lord Mayor's festival ; but I must put this off till 
another day, for I cannot but own that I am tired 
of writing, and I daresay you will likewise be 
fatigued before you reach the end of this lengthy 









Investiture of the Knights of the Bath— Procession of the Knights — 
The Aldermen of London — The Lord Mayor — Lord Mayor's Day 
— Enghsh manner of dressing — The Duke of Bolton is insulted 
by a footman — Execution of thirteen criminals — Highwaymen, 
Footpads, Pickpockets — Jonathan Wild, captain of robbers. 

London, February, 1726 

I AM sure you will agree with me that my last 
letter was not an entertaining one. I know full 
well that the mere description of a town like 
London cannot be amusing. I find it impossible 
to give you a really true idea of the beautiful sights 
I have seen, and above all I cannot make you 
realise the great enjoyment I am experiencing. I 
continue my letters, however, hoping at least to 
satisfy your curiosity. 

I promised to give you an account of the in- 
vestiture of the Order of the Bath, which took 
place two months after my arrival here, that is to 
say, in July last year. 

I.— H 97 


This order is a very ancient one. Those who 
belong to it are called Knights of the Bath, for the 
reason that formerly a bath in the Tower was one 
of the ceremonies to be gone through before they 
received their knighthood. The knights number 
six-and-thirty. No new members can be created 
until all the old ones are dead. 

About five or six weeks before the ceremony 
His Majesty the King chose the Duke of Montague 
to be Grand Master of the order, and named the 
remaining four-and-thirty knights, amongst whom 
were William, the Prince of Wales's second son, 
then five years old, and several peers and noblemen 
of the highest rank and distinction ; also the cele- 
brated Mr. Robert Walpole, who is the first 
minister of the kingdom. As soon as the knights 
were named they were permitted to appear in 
public wearing the order of the knighthood from 
right to left across their breasts. This order con- 
sists of a broad red ribbon, to it being suspended a 
gold medal, having the emblem and motto of the 
order engraven on its surface. The emblem is 
three small crowns, and the motto, " Tria in unum." 
It is only after being knighted that the star may be 


worn. It is worn on the left side, and in the 
centre of the star the same emblem and motto 
are embroidered in silver. On the day before the 
ceremony a wooden bridge was constructed, with 
railings on each side. The height of the bridge 
was about three feet. It commenced at the big 
door by which the King enters Parliament, crossed 
Old Palace Yard, all along St. Margaret's Church- 
yard, and ended before the western porch of 
Westminster Abbey. 

On the morning of the great day this wooden 
bridge was entirely hidden by blue cloth, and a 
detachment of Foot and Horse Guards took up 
their positions on it, the first by the side of the 
railings, and the latter on either side and along the 
bridge. Early in the day the knights assembled 
in the hall called the Princes' Chamber, in the 
House of Parliament, from which they issued forth 
at about ten o'clock in the following order : — 

1. The drummers of the King's house, with the 
chief drummer at their head. 

2, The kettledrums and trumpets of the King's 
Horse Guards. 


3. Four-and-twenty paupers of the parish of 
Westminster. These men had each been pre- 
sented with a cloak and a square cap of blue 

4. The messenger of the order in his robes of 

5. The knights' esquires walking together three 
and three. There were one hundred and eight of 
them, each knight having three. Over their 
shoulders they wore cloaks of a brown colour, 
on the left side of which the emblem and motto 
of the order were embroidered in silks of various 
colours. In their hands they carried old-fashioned 
caps of the same hue as their cloaks, and over their 
vests they wore wide belted girdles, from which 
hung large old-fashioned swords of ancient work- 

6. The twelve canons of Westminster wearing 
the cloaks of the order, with cambric surplices 
visible beneath, and they carried square caps of 
black cloth in their hands. 

7. The heralds and king-at-arms wearing dal- 
matics or long doublets of blue silk, on which the 
arms of England are stamped in divers colours, 


and that in such a way as to cover the whole 
doublet. They also wore the collar and insignia 
of the order, with its motto and device. 

8. Four-and-thirty Knights of the Bath, or their 
representatives, walking two and two. They were 
clad in vests and breeches of white satin, and wore 
hose and shoes of white. Over their vests were 
wide girdles of crimson velvet, from which hung 
ancient swords of gold or silver-gilt workmanship. 
From their shoulders hung long cloaks of crimson 
velvet lined with white satin, on the left side 
of which a silver insignia of the order was em- 
broidered, encircled in a star. These cloaks were 
fastened by two thick silver cords, with large tassels 
of silver hanging down to their belts. In their 
hands they carried old-fashioned caps of white 
satin, with beautiful overhanging white ostrich 
plumes. The cloaks, caps, and swords of the 
absent knights were carried by their represen- 

9. The recorder of the order. He was accom- 
panied on his right by the secretary of the order, 
and on his left by the gentleman usher. All three 
were dressed after the manner of the knights, and 


they carried caps in their hands, but these were 
without ostrich plumes. 

10. The First King-at-arms, or Lord Garter, 
having on his right the Second King-at-arms, and 
on his left the Genealogist of the order. All three 
were clad in coat-armour and carried caps in their 

11. The Bishop of Rochester, senior of the 
order, wearing a cloak like those of the other 
knights, and attached to a red ribbon round his 
throat hung the insignia of the order. In one 
hand he carried a mitre ; in the other the address 
he was to read to the knights, and the statement 
of the oaths they were to take. 

12. The Duke of Montague, Grand Master of 
the order, clad like the other knights, but wearing 
his ostrich-plumed cap on his head. Over his 
cloak and fastened round his shoulders he wore 
the golden collar from which was suspended the 
medallion or insignia of the order. Long golden 
spurs were fastened to his heels, in order to show 
that he had been previously invested by the King 
with the order. 

13. The Chevalier Fontaine, Vice-Chamberlain 


to the Princess of Wales and representative of the 
youthful Prince William. He carried the latter's 
cloak, cap and sword in his hand. 

14. The procession was closed by a detachment 
of the Yeomen of the Guard, carrying halberds on 
their shoulders. When they had all reached the 
porch of the Abbey the drummers drew up on one 
side and the trumpeters on the other, and the 
procession entered the Abbey. The Prince and 
Princess of Wales and Prince William were in a 
stand expressly erected for them. The young 
Prince here joined the knights, and took his place 
behind the Grand Master. The Chevalier Fontaine 
led the Prince by the hand, and helped him to don 
the cloak, sword, and put the cap in his hand. 
Everyone then passed on into Henry VO.'s Chapel, 
where each took his appointed place with all the 
outward and necessary ceremony too lengthy to 
recount here. The Grand Master then invested 
the knights with the Order of the Bath, presenting 
them each with a copy of the statutes, and making 
them take the vows from the Senior Knight, and 
throwing over their necks and shoulders the collar 
of gold to which the medallion or insignia of the 


order is suspended, buckling on their feet big 
golden spurs, and giving them the "accolade," or 
blow, with the flat of the sword. After all these 
ceremonies had been gone through, divine service 
was held. Then the Grand Master together with 
the knights according to their rank, and headed by 
the First and Second King-at-arms, approached 
the railings of the altar, and every knight un- 
sheathing his sword, presented it to the Senior 
Knight, who returned them, admonishing the 
knights in these terms : " I exhort you, by the oath 
you have taken, to use this sword for the glory of 
God, for the defence of the Gospel, the maintenance 
of the rights and glory of your sovereign, and of 
justice and of equity as much as in you lies, so 
help you God." 

The knights then leaving Henry VII.'s Chapel, 
walked to the door of the church, where they were 
met by the King's head cook, his chopper in his 
hand, girded about the waist with a green apron 
and with a linen napkin. He addressed each 
knight in these words : " Sir, you know what a 
solemn vow you have just taken. If you observe 


it, it will be to your honour ; but if you betray it, 
I shall be compelled by my office to cleave off your 
spurs with my chopper." 

The knights then leaving the abbey, returned 
to the Princes' Chamber in the same order they 
had observed before, except that on their return 
the esquires, the canons, and the king-at-arms all 
wore their caps, those of the knights surmounted 
with white waving ostrich plumes making a 
charming picture. They also wore the collars and 
insignia of the order and long spurs of gold or 
silver -gilt. Young Prince William did not take 
part in the return procession ; he gave his collar, 
sword, spurs, and cap to his representative, who 
was to take his place in the banquet ; but he took 
part in all the ceremonies of the investiture except 
that of taking the oath. 

Nothing could be more diverting than seeing the 
Foot Guards and the populace remove the bridge 
and the blue cloth which covered it, for these were 
given them, and they fought for the largest share. 
Hardly had the Yeomen of the Guard passed 
before the boards and the cloth were torn away 
almost from under their feet. Many blows were 


given and returned. These disturbances and broils 
were most amusing to the onlookers. The Grand 
Master, the knights, and the dean of the order 
walked in ceremony to the chamber, " Cour des 
Requetes," where a magnificent feast was prepared, 
to which all the foreign ministers had been invited. 
In the adjoining rooms were several other tables 
for the esquires and all the other persons who 
had taken part in the procession. You cannot 
imagine what a number of people there were 
looking on from windows and from stands built for 
the occasion, everyone being desirous of witness- 
ing this magnificent pageant. Another charming 
spectacle was the sight of noblemen, ladies, and 
persons of rank, all beautifully dressed, who came 
to see the curious ceremony, no one being able 
to remember having seen such another before. 
I was fortunate in having a good view of the 
whole proceedings, comfortably and without any 
cost, for I was then lodging in a hou§e with 
windows looking on to the Old Palace Yard. It 
is true I had to give up my room and my windows 
to persons of high rank, who paid the proprietor 
of the house very liberally, whilst I took refuge. 


together with two or three persons of the house- 
hold, in a sort of garret or room, but we saw 
every bit as well as we should have done from 
my own windows. 

In the month of October I saw another ceremony 
and procession, neither as interesting or as rare as 
the investiture, for it takes place every year. Still, I 
must describe it to you. It is what English people 
call " My Lord Mayor's Show," and it takes place 
every year on the 28th of October. But before 
describing this show, I think you might like to 
know something more of the Lord Mayor, of the 
aldermen and magistrates of London. 

The City — I mean that part of London which is 
inclosed by walls and has gates — is divided into 
twenty-six parts called wards. Each ward has its 
own particular alderman, elected by the citizens of 
the ward and called freemen. This magistrate, 
who is elected for life, has his own court of justice, 
where he judges the disputes in his ward. The 
twenty-six aldermen, one of whom is the Lord 
Mayor, hold the general council, where all the 
causes of the City are judged. These aldermen 
are all merchants. They must be members of one 


of the twelve principal corporations of merchants, 
of which I may possibly write more hereafter. 

There is a new Lord Mayor every year; the 
citizens or freemen elect him from the body of 
aldermen. They generally choose the oldest of the 
aldermen, and one who has not yet filled the post ; 
there have been, however, some examples to the 
contrary, but very rarely. The Lord Mayor has 
many privileges. He is always knighted by the 
King before his year of office is over ; his style of 
living is magnificent and sumptuous ; he keeps 
open table, and has many well-paid functionaries in 
his service, one of these being the officer who 
carries the big sword of ceremony before the Lord 
Mayor whenever he appears in public. This appoint- 
ment is worth ;^i,ooo. When the throne is vacant 
the Lord Mayor is the first officer of the Crown, 
and on the day of coronation he is the King's first 
cupbearer. His authority is great, and stretches 
over all the town of London, over a great part of 
its suburbs, and the Thames up to twenty-five 
miles above the bridge. The day of his investi- 
ture, the Lord Mayor with all his aldermen and 
train goes to the riverside, where a dozen or more 








barges and galleys are waiting for them. The 
Lord Mayor's barge is magnificent ; it is enriched 
with gilding, carving, and delicate paintings ; it is 
decked with banners, streamers, and flags, and is 
manned by forty oarsmen, all wearing a bright-hued 
livery and caps of black velvet. The other barges 
are handsomely decorated likewise, one of them 
having a band of excellent musicians on board. A 
great number of ordinary but well-decorated boats 
follow and make a charming flotilla, keeping in 
good time to the strains of music. The boats stop 
at the Stairs or Quai of Westminster, where the 
procession forms and goes on foot to the Grand 
Hall of Westminster. You see firstly a large body 
of the lower officers of police called constables, 
carrying a thick staff, on which the arms of the 
King are painted, this staff being their mark of 
office. These constables walk two and two. Then 
follows a deputation of from fifteen to twenty 
persons from the principal merchant corporations, 
all wearing blue cloaks and walking by fours to- 
gether; they are followed by several magistrates. 
Next come five-and-twenty aldermen wearing long 
scarlet robes bordered with marten. Those who 


have previously filled the office of Lord Mayor 
wear a heavy chain of gold hanging down to their 

The five -and -twenty aldermen are followed by 
two sheriffs or magistrates of a higher rank ; one of 
them represents the City of London, the other the 
County of Middlesex. Like the Lord Mayor, they 
are elected yearly, and are dressed in the same 
fashion. After them come several of the Lord 
Mayor's officers, his gentlemen, and esquires, all 
richly dressed. The most distinguished of these 
officers carries a very large and precious sword of 
state immediately preceding the Lord Mayor, who 
walks alone. The Lord Mayor is dressed in a long, 
old-fashioned robe of crimson velvet bordered with 
ermine, the long train of which is borne by two 
gentlemen -in -waiting ; round his neck hangs a 
massive and long chain. Several officers of the 
militia follow, closing the march. In this order the 
Lord Mayor proceeds to the Tribunal of the 
Exchequer, where he takes the oath of loyalty. 
He then walks round the hall and invites the Lord 
Chancellor and all the judges to honour his banquet 
with their presence. Then with all his train he 


returns to the canal of Fleet Street, where he and 
the Sheriff and Aldermen, and other persons of 
note who accompany him, mount richly caparisoned 
steeds, and the procession forms again in the same 
order as before, save that it is preceded and closed 
by several companies of the militia of the City. 
When the Guildhall is reached a magnificent repast 
is served, and this terminates the ceremony, which 
is sometimes honoured by the presence of the King 
and by that of the Prince and Princess of Wales. 

You cannot imagine the quantity of people there 
are at the windows, balconies, and in the streets 
to see the pageant pass. The Lord Mayor's Day 
is a great holiday in the City. The populace on 
that day is particularly insolent and rowdy, turning 
into lawless freedom the great liberty it enjoys. 
At these times it is almost dangerous for an honest 
man, and more particularly for a foreigner, if at all 
well dressed, to walk in the streets, for he runs a 
great risk of being insulted by the vulgar populace, 
which is the most cursed brood in existence. He 
is sure of not only being jeered at and being 
bespattered with mud, but as likely as not dead 
dogs and cats will be thrown at him, for the mob 


makes a provision beforehand of these playthings, 
so that they may amuse themselves with them on 
the great day. If the stranger were to get angry, 
his treatment would be all the worse. The best 
thing to be done on these occasions is not to run 
the risk of mixing with the crowd ; but, should 
you desire to do so from curiosity, you had better 
dress yourself as simply as possible in the English 
fashion, and trust to pass unnoticed. I daresay it 
would interest you to hear of the style and the 
way Englishmen usually dress. They do not 
trouble themselves about dress, but leave that to 
their womenfolk. When the people see a well- 
dressed person in the streets, especially if he is 
wearing a braided coat, a plume in his hat, or his 
hair tied in a bow, he will, without doubt, be called 
" French dog " twenty times perhaps before he 
reaches his destination. This name is the most 
common, and evidently, according to popular idea, 
the greatest and most forcible insult that can be 
given to any man, and it is applied indifferently 
to all foreigners, French or otherwise. English- 
men are usually very plainly dressed, they scarcely 
ever wear gold on their clothes ; they wear little 


coats called "frocks," without facings and without 
pleats, with a short cape above. Almost all wear 
small, round wigs, plain hats, and carry canes in 
their hands, but no swords. Their cloth and linen 
are of the best and finest. You will see rich 
merchants and gentlemen thus dressed, and some- 
times even noblemen of high rank, especially in 
the morning, walking through the filthy and muddy 
streets. Englishmen are, however, very lavish in 
other ways. They have splendid equipages and 
costly apparel when required. Peers and other 
persons of rank are richly dressed when they 
go to Court, especially on gala days, when their 
grand coaches, with their magnificent accoutre- 
ments, are used. The lower classes are usually 
well dressed, wearing good cloth and linen. You 
never see wooden shoes in England, and the 
poorest individuals never go with naked feet. 

I have already told you that noblemen of rank 
occasionally amuse themselves by going "incog- 
nito " through the streets dressed as simple citizens. 
I will relate to you what happened a short time 
ago to the Duke of Bolton, who I think will not 
be tempted to try further adventures. One morning 
I. — I 


the Duke was in a narrow but populous street ; he 
was very simply dressed in a plain frock, a small, 
round wig, and carrying a stick in his hand. He 
had no sword or visible order, though he is a 
Knight of the Garter; in short, he wore nothing 
by which he could be distinguished from an 
ordinary citizen. Walking along rather rapidly, 
the Duke met a footman wearing the Duke of 
Somerset's livery, who pushed him aside very 
rudely, either purposely or unknowingly. The 
Duke of Bolton, who is very proud, reprimanded 
the man in a few words about his rudeness. 
The footman, who was evidently quick-tempered, 
answered in an insolent manner. The Duke re- 
taliated, so did the footman by thrusting his fist 
into the Duke's face and offering to close with 
him and fight ; but the Duke, unaccustomed to this 
form of exercise and afraid of not getting the best 
of it, refused the offer, and prudently retired. The 
following day, richly dressed and in a magnificent 
coach, the Duke of Bolton went to visit the Duke 
of Somerset. This nobleman, who is the second 
peer in England, is very proud and particular about 
the keeping up of rank, and in consequence not 


very popular. After the usual compliments in 
vogue amongst the higher classes, the Duke of 
Bolton made his complaints, stating how he had 
been treated by the footman. The Duke of 
Somerset proudly and coldly, yet very courteously, 
listened to the complaint, and summoned all his 
servants. As soon as the footman appeared the 
Duke of Bolton recognised him, and pointed him 
out to his master. The Duke of Somerset inquired 
severely from his servant how he had dared to 
insult the Duke of Bolton. The man humbly 
answered that he had no knowledge of having 
done so ; it was true he had bandied words with 
a brutal citizen dressed in such and such a way, 
but who had absolutely no mark or appearance of 
rank to make him suspect he could possibly be 
the Duke of Bolton. The Duke of Somerset 
reprimanded the man very severely, and then 
ordered all the servants to retire, after which he 
turned to the Duke, saying he could not understand 
how a person of his rank could walk alone through 
the streets dressed after the manner of a common 
gentleman, that if anything unpleasant occurred he 
had only himself to blame, and that under the 


circumstances no one was obliged to recognise him. 
That is all the satisfaction the poor Duke of Bolton 
got from the Duke of Somerset, and he retired 
humbled and not too well pleased. 

Some time after my arrival in London I witnessed 
a spectacle which certainly was not as magnificent 
or as brilliant as the Lord Mayor's Show ; it is true 
it was quite a different kind of entertainment. I 
saw thirteen criminals all hanged at the same time. 
It will interest you, no doubt, to know something 
about justice in England, how it is practised, how 
criminals are punished, in what manner they are 
executed, as here it is done in quite a different way 
to what it is in other countries. 

In London there are a great number of minor 
magistrates. When a crime or a robbery has been 
committed, the relations of the murdered person 
or of those who have been robbed, or in their stead 
the attorney for the Crown, declare the fact to the 
magistrate and accuse the persons whom they 
suspect. They must give bail or appear in court 
whenever the case comes on. The magistrate then 
gives out a warrant or order to take the accused 
person prisoner. The constable or officers of police 


do this latter work. As soon as the guilty man is 
discovered they exhibit their warrant and their 
staff or mark of office, on which are painted the 
arms of the King. If the accused threatens them 
and refuses to allow himself to be made prisoner, 
all those persons who by chance are present are 
obliged, if the constables desire it, to come to their 
aid. When the criminal is secured he is conveyed 
to Newgate, one of the big gates of London, near 
which the prison is situated. Sometimes a rather 
peculiar plan is adopted in order to discover and 
arrest those who have committed a crime, if it is 
thought that they have several accomplices. An 
announcement is published in the gazettes and 
other public papers that those among the suspected 
who will deliver themselves up to justice, constitute 
themselves prisoners, denounce their accomplices, 
and give evidence against them, will be pardoned. 
Sometimes they are even rewarded by receiving 
sums varying from twenty to a hundred guineas, 
according to the seriousness of the case. By this 
means many criminals who would otherwise escape 
the gibbets are caught. 

The criminals remain in prison till the day of 


the assizes, which come on every six weeks in 
London, and every three months in the provinces. 
In the former place they are held at Old Bailey, 
close to the prison of Newgate. This tribunal is 
composed of one of the twelve chief justices of 
the kingdom, of the sheriff of the province, the 
attorney for the Crown, the King's recorder, a 
secretary, and twelve jurymen, who must be of 
the same social order as the accused. Should a 
peer of the realm be judged, the jury would consist 
of twelve peers ; if a gentleman, he must be judged 
by twelve gentlemen ; and if a man of the lower 
classes, the jury must be plebeian likewise, but 
educated — that is to say, able to read and write, 
and each having the reputation of being an honest 
man. Six-and- thirty persons are chosen as jury- 
men. The accused is allowed to refuse twelve 
of the number without giving any reason, and 
twelve others, but giving his reasons, and the 
twelve remaining men will constitute the jury. 
You must not think, however, that the jury is 
changed for every criminal, for as these habitually 
come from the scum of the people, honest 
artisans are usually chosen for the whole assizes. 

THE "PRESS" 119 

which lasts from three to four days, according to 
the number of prisoners to be judged. In this 
country torture is not resorted to to make a man 
confess a crime ; it is thought that many an 
innocent person might be sacrificed were this bar- 
barous custom adopted. Englishmen say that it 
is better that twelve culprits should escape human 
justice rather than that one innocent man should 
perish. Still there is a sort of question called the 
" Press," which is made use of when an accused 
person refuses to plead or contest the authority 
of the tribunal over him. In these cases he is 
stretched on the ground, his feet and hands are 
tied to stakes, and on his stomach is placed a plank 
with weights, more weights being added every four 
hours. The accused remains without food in this 
position until he consents to plead his cause and 
to recognise the validity of the tribunal. Cases 
have been known of criminals preferring to die in 
this fashion, after two or three days of atrocious 
suffering, rather than by the hands of the execu- 
tioner, and this in order not to leave a mark of 
infamy on their families, and to save their posses- 
sions from going to the Crown according to the 


law. It is, however, very rarely that the King 
makes use of this privilege, and almost always 
gives up these possessions in favour of the families 
of the criminals. 

Let us now consider the judgment. When the 
tribunal is formed and the prisoner stands at the 
bar, the twelve jurymen take the oath on the 
Gospel that they will, according to their consciences, 
endeavour to judge rightly. The magistrate's 
report is then read, giving the reasons why the 
accused has been arrested and at whosg instigation. 
After hearing this report the Lord Chief Justice 
asks the prisoner whether he is guilty of the crime 
of which he is accused, to which he must answer 
" No," otherwise, were he to own himself guilty, 
his case would be ended, and he would be judged 
according to the law. But this rarely occurs, for 
every criminal prefers trying to escape by pleading 
" Not Guilty." The person who has been the 
cause of his arrest appears and takes the oath, 
swearing he will speak nothing but the truth. He 
proceeds to give a detailed account of the circum- 
stances which have led to the prisoner's arrest. 
Should there be any more witnesses, they also take 


the oath before speaking, and should any person 
be able to declare on his oath that the accused is 
a person of bad antecedents, and suspected of such 
and such a bad action, he will be listened to with 
attention. When every person willing to speak 
against the prisoner has been heard, he is asked 
whether he has anything to say in self-defence, and 
he may speak as long as he likes. Should he have 
witnesses to put forward in his own favour, they 
take the oath and speak. I wish you to under- 
stand that a prisoner's good reputation is of great 
value. If several persons take the oath and say 
that he has always been an honest man, his case 
will be considered in quite a different light to what 
it would have been had he been suspected on other 
occasions of villainy. When everything has been 
heard and said for either side, the Lord Chief 
Justice addresses the jury and makes a summing-up 
of the whole case. He weighs in general more 
upon the good than upon the bad. The jury then 
retire into a room where they have no light and 
no food, and here they must remain until they are 
unanimous as to whether the accused is guilty or 
innocent. I am told that there have been cases 


of eleven out of the twelve jurymen being con- 
vinced of the guilt of the accused and condemning 
him, whilst the one wishing to save him has insisted 
on declaring him innocent, and after remaining an 
entire day and even two without food, forcing the 
others to come round to his opinion ; but such a 
case is extremely rare. 

The jury being unanimous, return to the court 
of justice and announce their decision. If they 
find the prisoner innocent he is immediately set 
free ; but if they find him guilty the Lord Chief 
Justice, donning his red* cap, pronounces him 
guilty according to the law and without the benefit 
of the clergy. I must tell you the meaning of this 
latter phrase. It was formerly a privilege accorded 
to churchmen, but which to-day also belongs to 
laymen convicted of certain crimes, particularly for 
cases of involuntary murder. In virtue of this 
privilege a New Testament, printed in Latin with 
Gothic letters, is presented to the accused, out of 
which he must read two verses. A person is 
chosen to listen, and if he pronounces these words, 
" Legit ut Clericus," which is always said, even 

* This is probably a mistake for black. 


were the accused to read abominably, his only 
punishment will consist of being branded on the 
palms of the hands with a red-hot iron ; but by 
paying thirteen and a half pence he has a right 
to have the iron dipped in cold water before being 
touched with it. I think that this institution must 
have been invented in former times to encourage 
the ignorant clergy to learn to read. The judge 
having pronounced the sentence, the criminal is 
conducted back to prison covered with chains, and 
shut up in a dungeon. When the assizes are over 
and all the prisoners have been judged, the King 
is presented with a list of the condemned to death, 
for in England no criminal can be executed without 
the consent and approbation of the King, who 
occasionally pardons one or two of the least guilty 
ones, or changes their condemnation to transporta- 
tion to the English plantations of America, where 
malefactors are condemned to slavery for periods 
of five, ten, fifteen, or twenty years, and sometimes 
for life. Should a transported prisoner escape and 
return to England before his time is up, he will; if 
caught, be hanged without mercy. 

Criminals are not executed immediately after 


their trial, as they are abroad, but are given 
several days to prepare for death. During that 
time they may ask for anything that they require 
either for the soul or for the body. The chaplain 
of the prison (for there is one) does not leave 
them, and offers every consolation in his power. 
The day before the execution those who desire 
it may receive the sacrament, provided the chaplain 
thinks that they have sincerely repented and are 
worthy of it. On the day of execution the 
condemned prisoners, wearing a sort of white 
linen shirt over their clothes and a cap on their 
heads, are tied two together and placed on carts 
with their backs to the horses' tails. These carts 
are guarded and surrounded by constables and 
other police officers on horseback, each armed 
with a sort of pike. In this way part of the 
town is crossed, and Tyburn, which is a good 
half-mile from the last suburb, is reached, and 
here stands the gibbet. One often sees criminals 
going to their death perfectly unconcerned, others 
so impenitent that they fill themselves full of liquor 
and mock at those who are repentant. When all 
the prisoners arrive at their destination they are 


made to mount on a very wide cart made expressly 
for the purpose, a cord is passed round their necks 
and the end fastened to the gibbet, which is not 
very high. The chaplain who accompanies the 
condemned men is also on the cart ; he makes 
them pray and sing a few verses of the Psalms. 
The relatives are permitted to mount the cart and 
take farewell. When the time is up — that is to 
say about a quarter of an hour — the chaplain and 
relations get off the cart, the executioner covers 
the eyes and .faces of the prisoners with their 
caps, lashes the horses that draw the cart, which 
slips from under the condemned men's, feet, and 
in this way they remain all hanging together. 
You often see friends and relations tugging at the 
hanging men's feet so that they should die quicker 
and not suffer. The bodies and clothes of the 
dead belong to the executioner ; relatives must, 
if they wish for them, buy them from him, and 
unclaimed bodies are sold to surgeons to be 
dissected. You see most amusing scenes between 
the people who do not like the bodies to be cut 
up and the messengers the surgeons have sent for 
the bodies ; blows are given and returned before 


they can be got away, and sometimes in the 
turmoil the bodies are quickly removed and buried. 
Again, the populace often come to blows as to who 
will carry the bought corpses to the parents who 
are waiting in coaches and cabs to receive them, 
for the carriers are well paid for their trouble. 
All these scenes are most diverting, the noise and 
confusion is unbelievable, and can be witnessed 
from a sort of amphitheatre erected for spectators 
near the gibbet. There is no other form of 
execution but hanging ; it is thought that the 
taking of life is sufficient punishment for any 
crime without worse torture. After hanging mur- 
derers are, however, punished in a particular 
fashion. They are first hung on the common 
gibbet, their bodies are then covered with tallow 
and fat substances, over this is placed a tarred 
shirt fastened down with iron bands, and the 
bodies are hung with chains to the gibbet, which 
is erected on the spot, or as near as possible to 
the place, where the crime was committed, and 
there it hangs till it falls to dust. This is what 
is called in this country to "hang in chains." The 
lower classes do not consider it a great disgrace 


to be simply hanged, but have a great horror of 
the hanging in chains, and the shame of it is 
terrible for the relatives of the condemned. Peers 
of the realm are executed by beheading ; their 
heads are placed on the block and severed with 
a hatchet. Women who have murdered their 
husbands are put to death in what I consider to 
be an unjust way : they are condemned to be 
burned alive. Men who murder their wives are 
only hanged, but the English say that any person 
guilty of treason, that is to say of murdering 
those to whom they owe faith and allegiance, 
must be punished in an exemplary and terrible 
fashion. Such would be the case of a woman 
murdering her husband, a slave or servant his 
master, a clerk his bishop, and, in short, any 
person who is guilty of the death of his lord 
and superior. 

Executions are frequent in London ; they take 
place every six weeks, and five, ten, or fifteen 
criminals are hanged on these occasions. Not- 
withstanding this, there are in this country a 
surprising quantity of robbers. They may be 
classed in three divisions — highwaymen, footpads, 


and pickpockets, all very audacious and bold. 
Highwaymen are generally well mounted ; one of 
them will stop a coach containing six or seven 
travellers. With one hand he will present a pistol, 
with the other his hat, asking the unfortunate 
passengers most politely for their purses or their 
lives. No one caring to run the risk of being 
killed or maimed, a share of every traveller's 
money is thrown into the hat, for were one to 
make the slightest attempt at self-defence the 
ruffian would turn bridle and fly, but not before 
attempting to revenge himself by killing you. If, 
on the contrary, he receives a reasonable contri- 
bution, he retires without doing you any injury. 
When there are several highwaymen together, they 
will search you thoroughly and leave nothing. 
Again, others take only a part of what they find ; 
but all these robbers ill-treat only those who try 
to defend themselves. I have been told that some 
highwaymen are quite polite and generous, begging 
to be excused for being forced to rob, and leaving 
passengers the wherewithal to continue their jour- 
ney. All highwaymen that are caught are hanged 
without mercy. 


There is a queer law to encourage counties to 
get rid of thieves. If a person is robbed of a 
considerable sum in the daytime and on the high 
road, and if he declares the theft to the sheriff 
of the county before the sun sets, and can prove 
that the sum has been taken from him in such 
and such a place, the county in which he has 
been robbed is obliged to refund him the sum. 
This happened to a friend of mine, who was robbed 
of two hundred guineas. Being able to declare the 
theft, and to prove it before the sun went down, 
he had no difficulty in recovering the amount from 
the sheriff of the county of Hertfordshire. 

Footpads are met with in towns, especially in 
and around London. Should they meet any well- 
dressed person at night in some unfrequented spot, 
they will collar him, put the muzzle of a pistol 
to his throat, and threaten to kill him if he makes 
the slightest movement or calls for help. During 
that time another rascal will rob the victim of any 
valuables he may possess. These thieves, when 
caught, are also hanged. Pickpockets are legion. 
With extraordinary dexterity they will steal hand- 
kerchiefs, snuff-boxes, watches — in short, anything 

I. — K 


they can find in your pockets. Their profession 
is practised in the streets, in churches, at the play, 
and especially in crowds. Quite lately a valuable 
snuff-box was stolen from me. I had placed it in 
the pocket of my carefully-buttoned waistcoat ; my 
coat was buttoned likewise, and I was holding both 
my hands over the pockets of my coat. It is true 
the theft occurred in a very narrow, crowded street, 
or more properly called passage, leading into a 
park. These rascals are so impudent, they steal 
even under the gibbet. There never is any execu- 
tion without handkerchiefs and other articles being 
stolen. When any of these pickpockets are caught 
in the act and are given over to the populace, they 
are dragged to the nearest fountain or well and 
dipped in the water till nearly drowned. When 
a pickpocket appears before a magistrate for the 
first time, he is sent to a house of correction called 
Bridewell ; but if he is an old hand at the trade 
and has already been punished, he is sent to the 
prison of Newgate, where he remains till the assizes ; 
he is then judged, and generally condemned to trans- 
portation to America, where he becomes a slave. 
All horse stealers or thieves who break into a 


house at night through doors and windows are 
hanged without mercy. You will without doubt 
think all these details exceedingly lengthy, but I 
think they are very curious and will interest you, 
who are so accustomed to Swiss honesty. I am 
convinced that in the thirteen cantons and their 
allies fewer robbers are caught in a year than 
there are judged in a single London assizes. 
Before leaving the subject allow me to say a few 
more words concerning a famous robber captain, 
Jonathan Wild, who was one of the thirteen I saw 
executed. During the ten or twelve years of his 
successful career in London, this man had had 
almost all the thieves of the town under his control. 
He used to give them so much money for all stolen 
goods brought to him. Were you robbed, you had 
only to address yourself to him and you were sure 
of recovering your property, by paying half its 
value or perhaps a trifle over, for he consented to 
be satisfied with a small profit. By this arrange- 
ment thieves were certain of not being caught with 
the stolen goods on them, and were paid besides ; 
those persons who had been robbed were delighted 
to recover for half their value the things they had 


lost, and everyone was satisfied. Perhaps you will 
be surprised at this business going on so long, but 
I must tell you there was then no law against 
receivers of stolen goods. Jonathan Wild was 
never personally guilty of robbery, and was quite 
friendly with justice, for he would occasionally give 
up to the hangman one or two of the least skilful 
of his underlings, or one of those he was dis- 
pleased with, by giving evidence against them. 
However, things went too far, and an act of 
Pafliament being passed against receivers of stolen 
goods, and Jonathan Wild continuing his pro- 
fession notwithstanding this new law, was taken, 
condemned and hanged. Many persons consider 
that more harm was done than good by the 
execution of this famous thief, for there is now 
no one to go to who will help you to recover your 
stolen property ; the government has certainly got 
rid of a robber, but he was only one, whereas by 
his help several were hanged every year. 

This time I have done. When I commenced 
this letter I intended describing to you the sur- 
roundings of London, but this is already such a 
long epistle that I must stop. 


Chelsea— Coffee-house of Salter— Kensington — Hyde Park — Mary- 
lebone — Islington— Sadlei-'s Wells — Lambeth — East Sheen — 
Richmond — Richmond Park— Petersham — Hampton Court — 
High roads of England — Savage found in the forests of Han- 
over — King's birthday — Old man presents him with a nosegay. 

EAST Sheen, near Richmond 
June 14, ifc6 

To-day I am going to fulfil my promise by telling 
you about the surroundings of London. 

Outside the town you scarcely see anything but 
large, fine pastures, where all the year round thou- 
sands of cows graze and give an abundance of milk. 
English people consume a great quantity of dairy 
produce ; they are very fond of cream, milk, and 
butter. In these large pastures you see neither 
trees nor hedges ; the property of each individual 
is marked by ditches. Beyond these pastures there 
are many charming country houses with fine large 
gardens, flourishing villages, but very little culti- 



vated land. Chelsea is one of the finest and 
largest villages outside London. It is not more 
than a mile distant from St. James's Park, and is 
partly situated on the borders of the Thames. It 
has a splendid hospital founded by Charles II., 
enlarged by James II. and by William III., and 
finished by Queen Anne. It supports about eight 
hundred soldiers who have been wounded in the 
wars, or are too old for service. They take their 
meals in a large dining-hall, where a fresco portrait 
of the founder on horseback is to be seen. This 
portrait is much admired by judges of good paint- 
ing, and is by the brush of Godfrey Kneller. In 
the centre of the court, which is in the interior of 
the building, there is a bronze statue of Charles II. 
The apartments, the kitchen, the dining -tables 
delight one by their scrupulous cleanliness. Behind 
the building there is a fine, large, and perfectly- 
kept garden. This magnificent hospital is well 
worth a visit. 

The handsome botanical garden belonging to the 
College of Medicine is situated near the hospital ; 
in it all kinds of trees are to be seen, and also 
curious plants. I saw two or three big cedars, and 


several varieties of aloes and sensitive plants. The 
orangery is fine, and its architecture in very good 
taste. The statue of Hans Sloane, President of 
the College of Doctors, stands in it ; this white 
marble statue is considered to be fine. The prin- 
cipal street of Chelsea, which is situated along the 
river side, is charming, and has several large 
houses. At the end of the street is Salter's famous 
public-house. In its rooms more than five hundred 
curious and rare objects are artistically grouped 
and exposed to public view, and amongst these 
curiosities are sea monsters, birds, reptiles, animals 
from Asia, America, and Africa, all so well pre- 
served that they seem alive. Garments and 
weapons having belonged to ancient nations and 
to savages from the Indies, petrifications, medals, 
and rare objects of every sort can be examined at 
ease whilst drinking a cup of coffee. 

Going north, about two miles from Chelsea you 
reach Kensington, a large and fine village situated 
on a slight elevation. The King has a palace at 
this spot, which William III. purchased from the 
Count of Nottingham, but it was much enlarged 
and embellished by Queen Anne and by the pre- 


sent reigning King. It contains some magnificent 
paintings by Titian, Correggio, Veronese, and other 
painters. In this palace there is a little marble 
room, very rich and handsome on account of its 
rare and precious marbles and its excellent fresco 
paintings. This palace is not vast, but its apart- 
ments are convenient and in good taste. When 
the King does not go to Hanover, he spends his 
summer in this palace. The gardens are so im- 
mense that twenty or thirty gardeners work in 
them. One evening, being surprised at seeing so 
many of these men going home from work, I 
inquired how many there were. One of them 
answered there had been fifty or sixty at work for 
the last fortnight. 

The large gardens of this country consist princi- 
pally of extremely smooth lawns, the grass being 
kept very short, which makes it thick and even, like 
green carpet. These are divided into plots and 
squares by long and wide paths, which are covered 
with a sort of brown gravel much used in this 
country. On these alleys a sort of iron or marble 
cylinder is passed, which hardens the ground, causing 
the rain to flow off, so that these walks are almost 


always dry. Strangers cannot help admiring these 
gravel paths. In the large gardens you also see 
avenues of elms, of horse chestnuts, and lime trees, 
and bushes and labyrinths kept with great care ; 
holly, yew, laurel, and cypress cut in all sorts of 
shapes and figures with great art. English people 
like to have statues, ornamental ponds, and foun- 
tains in their gardens, but you see very few beds of 
flowers. Around London there are numerous fine 
large gardens, all belonging to gardener^ who grow 
vegetables of every kind and flowers and fruit trees. 
What makes them so interesting and pretty is that 
the gardeners cultivate long alleys and plantations 
of all sorts of young trees, which are grown for sale. 
You can easily obtain permission to walk in these 
delightful gardens. Kensington is about three 
short miles from London, and is separated from 
this town by a magnificent park called Hyde Park, 
which is about five or six miles in circumference, 
and is closed in by high walls. It contains several 
avenues and a quantity of elm and lime trees, 
planted irregularly and forming little woods. A 
small river or stream flows through the park and 
forms an ornamental pond. In this park is a place 


called the " Ring." It is a round place, two or three 
hundred feet in diameter, and shut in by railings. 
This ring is surrounded by fine trees, and it is here 
on Sundays, during the warm season, between five 
and six o'clock, that fine ladies and gentlemen come 
and drive slowly round, in order to see and to be 
seen. Sometimes there are from one to two 
hundred chariots in this ring. Nothing is more 
beautiful than the road from London to Kensington, 
crossing Hyde Park. It is perfectly straight and 
so wide that three or four coaches can drive abreast. 
It is bordered on either side by a wide ditch, and 
has posts put up at even distances, on the tops of 
which lanterns are hung and lamps placed in them, 
which are lighted every evening when the Court is 
at Kensington. When you look from one end of 
the road to the other the effect is charming. In 
this park and in St. James's there are numbers of 
buck and roe-deer. These parks being separated 
by Piccadilly only, the animals can wander from 
one to the other. The King's Household is re- 
viewed twice a year in Hyde Park. 

Marylebone is a fine large village about one mile 
from London. It contains several handsome houses 


and a very fine and large public garden. Many 
people go there on Sundays and holidays. Near 
this village is a large pond, which is filled by 
machinery with water fi-om the Thames, fi-om whence 
it flows into fountains situated in different quarters 
of the town. 

Paddington is a small village further north, and 
two miles distant from London. It has fine houses 
and a spring of mineral water formerly in great 

In the north-east of London, and about two 
miles distant, is a large village or small market-town 
called Islington. This place extends over a mile in 
length. Before getting to it you pass London Spa. 
This is a large house and garden, and possesses a 
spring of mineral water which in summer time 
attracts a great many people. Excellent beer is 
made with this mineral water. 

Fifty paces from London Spa you see another 
big house, Sadler's Wells. An entertainment is 
given herfe all the summer through, which lasts 
from four o'clock in the afternoon till ten o'clock at 
night. You first see rope-dancers, tumblers, and 
acrobats; after that tricks of skill and daring are 


performed, amongst others that of men going up 
ladders which lean against nothing, their heads 
downwards and their feet in the air, and all kinds 
of tricks of equilibrium and diversions of that sort. 
The entertainment ends with a pantomime, acted 
on a very pretty little theatre with good scenery. 
Besides this there is quite a good orchestra ; but 
the best of it is you pay nothing for this entertain- 
ment — you need only throw the actors a few coins. 
Each party of spectators sits in a kind of box, which 
contains a little table on which to place plates and 
glasses, for everyone must have something to eat or 
to drink, as none are allowed into this house for 
the diversion of the eyes and ears only, enjoyment 
must also be given to the palate. You may order 
any sort of wine, cold meats, and sweetmeats, which 
are not dearer than elsewhere, the only difference 
being that the bottles here contain about one glass 
less than at other places. Notwithstanding the 
cheapness, the proprietor is quite satisfied with the 
profits, for many persons come daily, and much 
wine is drunk. 

Near Sadler's Wells is a large cistern, filled by 
the waters of a little river that has its source in 


S: . 


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X C (- 

£^ i 








the county of Hertfordshire, more than twenty 
miles distant, which a knight, Sir Hugh Myddel- 
ton, had had brought there at his own expense. 
This enterprise ruined him, but enriched his de- 
scendants, for they made a good fortune out of 
this reservoir, its waters being now sold in many 
quarters of the town. 

About two miles from Islington you see two 
hills, on which stand two fine villages, Hampstead 
and Highgate, from which places you have an 
enchanting view. You can see all London, the 
country round about, and part of the Thames. 

Two miles from Islington is a village with fine 
houses, called Hackney. Lambeth is a small 
market town on the other side of the river, almost 
opposite Westminster. The Archbishop of Canter- 
bury possesses a very ancient but fine palace in 
this place, and makes it his residence. This palace 
possesses a fine library, open for three days in the 
week and at certain hours to honest people. Satur- 
days open table is kept, and anyone personally 
known to the Archbishop may even bring one or 
two friends with him. From Lambeth to Sodrick,* 

* See above, p. 83, where this is given as the popular pronunciation 
of Southwark. 


all along the river, there are many fine houses, but 
chiefly glass-works, foundries, dyers' works, or timber 
yards of wood merchants. You will perceive by the 
date of my letter that I am no longer in London. 
For the last two months I have been in the country, 
in order to learn the language better. East Sheen, 
the place I have chosen, is a charming village with 
several fine houses, very pretty walks, and good 
company. It is only eight miles distant from 
London, and you can go there by water up the 
Thames. On the borders of Surrey you see 
Wandsworth, where there are very many French 
refugees, who have established several manufac- 
tories and built a French church. Putney, a fine 
village, can also be seen, and the big parish of 
Mortlake, stretching two miles along the river, with 
several fine houses, the residences of many persons 
of distinction. East Sheen is only a stone's-throw 
from Mortlake. Continuing up the river you come 
to Kew, where there is a fine old royal building, 
belonging to the Prince of Wales. About one mile 
higher up is Richmond, a fine large market town. 
I often go to this place, for it is changing, and 
much pleasant company is to be found there. In 


the centre of the town is a large place called " The 
Green " ; it is a wonderfully green spot, bordered 
with avenues of fine trees. On the front of this 
green you see the remains of an ancient palace 
built by Henry VII. In summer Queen Elizabeth 
habitually dwelt in it, and it was here she died. 
Civil wars have almost entirely destroyed this in- 
teresting abode, which must have been remarkably 

About a stone's-throw from Richmond is another 
palace, which belonged to the Duke of Ormonde, 
and which the Prince of Wales has purchased; it 
is small, but in good taste. The Princess takes 
great interest in the gardens, which are spacious, 
and she has greatly embellished them. The Prince 
of Wales and his family spend their summer in this 
palace, and, owing to this reason, Richmond is very 
fashionable in the warm season. At the end of the 
town there is an elevation called Richmond's Hill ; 
the view from it is superb. From this hill you go 
into Henry VIII.'s park, which is more than six 
miles in circumference, and is entirely surrounded 
by walls. It contains woods and fields and some 
cultivated land, and in the centre is a large pond 


abounding with fish. This park is full of game — 
deer, roe-deer, hares, pheasants, partridges, which 
are all preserved for the King's pleasure. 

At the foot of Richmond Hill is the pretty village 
of Petersham. It is composed of ten or twelve 
mansions, all having beautiful gardens and belong- 
ing to persons of rank. Leaving this village, you 
see two long and wide avenues of trees, so high 
and so thick with foliage that the air is always 
fresh and cool. Close by is Ham, a fine large 
house belonging to the Earl of Dysart. This 
residence is on the banks of the Thames, and has 
such fine walks and avenues of trees as to attract 
all the grand company from Richmond. Three 
miles higher up is Kingston, capital of the county 
of Surrey. It is a pretty and well-situated town. 
The assizes of the county are held there every 
three months. 

This, my dear sir, is a description of the most 
remarkable places in Surrey. Now let us go across 
to Middlesex. In order to do this we need only 
leave Kingston, go over a fine wooden bridge, and 
we find ourselves at Hampton town. A mile 
further on and twelve from London we arrive at 


the royal palace of Hampton Court. This is a very 
fine and vast edifice, commenced by Cardinal Wolsey, 
enlarged by James I., and altered and embellished 
by William III. This palace is divided into four 
courts, surrounded by the palace buildings. It is so 
spacious that two different sovereigns might with all 
their retinue easily lodge in it at the same time, for 
it contains about twelve hundred rooms. King 
William's apartments have been modernised ; they 
look on to the gardens, their architecture is simple 
but in very good taste, and the rooms are richly 
furnished with fine tapestries and numerous and ex- 
cellent paintings by painters of renown. Amongst 
them you see Raphael's masterpieces representing 
our Saviour's miracles, and which, though simply 
painted on pasteboard with colours diluted with 
gum and water, are considered absolutely perfect. 
Louis XIV. of France offered a million for them, 
wishing to add these paintings to some he already 
possessed in the same style done by the celebrated 
painter. Large portraits of seven of the most 
beautiful women of Charles II.'s court, and which 
are the admiration of all connoisseurs, are also to 
be seen. The gardens are very extensive and 
I. — L 


ornamented with fountains, ponds, and statues of 
bronze and marble. This palace possesses two 
parks, in one of which is a long and wide canal, 
bordered by beautiful avenues of trees. Had 
William III. lived longer, he would have made 
the palace of Hampton Court one of the most 
beautiful in Europe, for he was very fond of it 
and greatly embellished it. 

Going down the river from Hampton Court to 
London, you pass many villages and country 
houses on the Middlesex side. The principal of 
these are Thistleworth,* Chiswick, and also Sion 
House, which possesses fine avenues and gardens, 
and belongs to the Duke of Somerset. Brentford, 
more than one mile in length, is divided into Old 
and New Brentford. Hammersmith — where there 
is said to be a Roman Catholic convent, but called 
a "young ladies' school" — Fulham, and Chelsea: 
I shall do nothing more than name these places, 
for I feel that I can give you no real idea of 
the beauties of the Thames. 

It is not only on the Thames that you travel 
with enjoyment. The journey on the high roads 

* Until comparatively recent times Isleworth was commonly desig- 
nated Thistleworth. In Domesday Book it appears as Gistelworde. 


of England, and more especially near London, is 
most enjoyable and interesting. These roads are 
magnificent, being wide, smooth, and well kept. 
Contractors have the care of them, and cover them 
when necessary with that fine gravel so common 
in this country. The roads are rounded in the 
shape of an ass's back, so that the centre is higher 
than the sides, and the rain flows off into the 
ditches with which the roads are bordered on either 
side. It is not the custom here, as it is in France, 
for the poor peasants to be forced to make and 
keep up the high roads at their own expense and 
care. In this country everyone who makes use of 
the roads is obliged to contribute to the expense of 
keeping them up. At even distances there are 
barriers on the roads called "Turnpikes," where 
you have to pay a penny per horse. The -keeper 
of these turnpikes gives you a ticket and a leaden 
mark, so that you need not pay a second time on 
your way back that same day. If you journey on 
foot you pay nothing ; but I am certain all these 
details bore you, so let us talk of other things. 

You know, no doubt, that the King went to his 
estates in Germany last summer, and that he re- 


turned to England at the end of the autumn ; but I 
am sure you do not know that he brought a most 
singular creature back with him, a real savage. A 
short time before leaving Hanover some huntsmen 
saw an entirely naked human being in a dense 
forest. It fled at their approach and disappeared. 
Surprised at such a sight in an entirely deserted 
spot, the huntsmen went back several times in the 
hopes of seeing it again, and were one day lucky 
enough to do so. They followed the creature, and 
found it had hidden and taken refuge in the trunk 
of a big hollow tree. Having seized it, they found 
it was a youth of from fifteen to sixteen years of 
age. On being taken prisoner, he gave the most 
terrible howls, and could not articulate a single 
word. His hair was matted and bristling, his nails 
very long, his skin hardened and tanned by the air 
— in a word he was a perfect savage, probably 
born, fed, and brought up with the wild beasts of 
the forest, and speaking no human language. He 
was taken to the King, who ordered him to be 
taken care of, and sent to England when he 
himself should return. A short time after the 
savage's arrival in this country I had an opportunity 


of seeing him in St. James's Park, where he was 
occasionally made to walk and take the air. I was 
much struck with his appearance, and remarked 
that his clothes seemed to hinder his movements. 
He couldn't bear his hat on his head, but kept 
throwing it down on the ground. His hair bristled 
and covered his forehead. His eyes were haggard, 
and did not rest on any object, and he looked so 
wild and extraordinary I cannot describe the im- 
pression he made. He frightened me. I am told 
that the first time he was taken to the park, he 
showed the greatest joy and pleasure at finding 
himself in a sort of wood. With surprising agility 
he climbed up the highest tree, and his keepers 
had much difficulty in getting him down again. 

One night, some weeks after the King's return, 
he ordered his savage to be brought to him in the 
drawing-room or Court circle. The youth did not 
appear put out or embarrassed at finding himself 
in the midst of such a fashionable assembly. He 
remained where he was, planted like a statue. 
The Princess of Wales wore that evening a sort 
of habit of black velvet, with fastenings and 
trimmings of diamonds, and at her girdle hung 


a gold watch that struck the hours. The chiming 
of this watch attracted the young savage, who 
ran towards the Princess to see from whence the 
sound came ; without permission he examined the 
sparkling gems on the Princess's gown and also 
the watch, which she made chime several times 
for his pleasure. For some time he thus stood, 
much to the amusement of the whole circle, but 
unfortunately he could not be taught good manners, 
and he had to be removed. 

The King was kind enough to take much interest 
in this poor creature ; he ordered that he was to 
be cared for and taught to speak, and he was sent 
to a school where the master was said to be patient 
and clever in teaching children. Everyone was 
longing for the savage to speak, to learn his 
history, but that satisfaction was not to be. The 
change of food and his new way of living helped 
no doubt to make him fall ill ; he pined away and 
died about two months after his arrival in England, 
and just as he was learning to say a word or two. 
Everyone was sorry. I am told that his master 
had extreme difficulty in making him understand 
anything, his intellect being very dull and stunted. 


The King's birthday has been celebrated since 
his return. At midday twelve cannon were pointed 
from St. James's Park and fired. The same was 
done at the Tower, at Woolwich, Deptford, and 
in all the ports and fortified towns in the kingdom. 
All the noblemen and ladies of the Court went 
to join the circle at one o'clock ; on that day it 
is always very crowded and brilliant, everyone 
making it a rule to appear in new habiliments. In 
the evening there were illuminations and bonfires 
in the principal squares and also a grand ball at 
Court. The town of London on that day presents 
the King with a nosegay of flowers, and it is 
offered him by the oldest male inhabitant that can 
be found; he must, however, be in good health, 
able to walk, to talk, and to present himself well. 
This old man, in offering the nosegay, makes a 
little speech, expressing to the King that it is the 
most ardent wish of all his subjects, more par- 
ticularly of those of London, that His Majesty may 
attain to as green an old age as he himself has done. 
This year I assisted at the ceremony ; the old man 
who presented the nosegay was very tall and 
strong-looking, he had long and perfectly white 


hair, he held himself very erect, and was dressed 
in the garb of a soldier. After his little speech, 
the King inquired from him how old he was. 
" Sire," the man answered, " I do not know my 
age, but I began to carry arms at the time of the 
Civil Wars under Charles I. I continued serving 
under Oliver Cromwell, Charles II., James II., 
King William, Queen Anne, and under your 
Majesty." At the same time he told the King 
that he was nothing but a common soldier, that 
he had left the service only a few years previously, 
and that none of his friends had sufficient interest 
to help him to enter the soldiers' hospital. The 
King was much struck at the sight of such a fine 
old man, and sorry that his services should not 
have been better rewarded ; he ordered that thirty 
guineas should be given him, and that he should 
be allowed to enter Chelsea Hospital with the rank 
of sergeant. 

The person who kindly consents to take charge 
of my packet starts on his journey to-morrow 
morning. It is getting late, and I must close, 
assuring you I am yours from my heart. 


Penny Post — Fire insurance — Fountains of London — York Buildings 
machinery — Cleanliness of the English— English beer — Taverns 
and wine shops — Coffee-houses — Newspapers — Inns — Cabs — 
Coaches — Sedan chairs — Boats — Markets of London — Aurora 
Boreahs — Knights of the Garter — Mr. Walpole knighted. 

From East Sheen, near Richmond 
October 29, 1726 

In my preceding letter I gave you what you may 
perhaps have thought an insipid description of 
London and its surroundings. I think that I will 
do well to tell you of a few of the advantages of 
this city, for they are many, and are not to be found 
in other towns. Foremost amongst the number I 
must place the penny post, which is a most useful 
institution. It would be very inconvenient in such 
a large town as London to have to run from one 
end of it to the other every time you had anything 
special to communicate. In order to provide for 



this difficulty, a large number of small offices have 
been established in every quarter of the town and 
in the principal streets. You may, if you wish it, 
write twice a day to anyone living in the town or 
suburbs, and once in the day to about one hundred 
and fifty small towns and villages in the vicinity of 
London. Should the letter be addressed to any 
place further than London and its suburbs, the 
person who sends it, in giving it to be posted, will 
have to pay one penny, and the receiver will also 
have to pay the same sum ; but if the letter is 
addressed to the town or suburbs the sender alone 
pays the penny. You can send parcels in the same 
way ; a parcel weighing a pound will not cost more 
than a sibple letter. Whatever is sent by the 
penny post is well cared for, provided you have 
taken the trouble of registering it at the office, 
because should the parcel get lost, the clerk is in 
that case answerable for it. 

Every person has the facility of insuring his 
house against fire. "What!" I can hear you 
exclaim, "have you the right to prevent your 
house from burning?" No, this is not the case; 
but there are in London two or three companies 


of insurance who for a small sum paid yearly, 
according to the value of the house, are bound to 
pay for it or to rebuild it, should it be burnt down 
or otherwise destroyed from the effects of fire. 
These companies pay a considerable number of 
men to run and extinguish a fire as soon as 
signalled. All insured houses have on their fronts 
placards or slabs of metal, on which their number 
and also the mark or sign of the company is 

One of the conveniences of London is that 
everyone can have an abundance of water. The 
big reservoir or cistern near Islington, the York 
Buildings machinery near the Strand, and that of 
the Bridge supply every quarter abundantly. In 
every street there is a large principal pipe made 
of oak wood, and little leaden pipes are adapted 
to this principal pipe, and carry water into all the 
houses. Every private individual may have one 
or two fountains in his house, according to his 
means, and pays so much a year for each fountain. 
Water is not obtainable all day, these fountains 
giving three hours' water in every twenty-four. 
The large leaden cisterns are replenished during 


the time the water does not run into the houses. 
Companies or societies have undertaken this vast 
enterprise and reap the profits. Besides the dis- 
tribution of water by the means of pipes, there are 
in many streets pumps and wells, where poor 
people who cannot afford to pay for water can 
obtain it for nothing. 

I have named the York Buildings machinery. 
This is so curious that I must tell you more about 
it, for everyone understanding machinery admires 
it greatly. Unfortunately I do not know much, 
never having studied the question, and so cannot 
give you a very detailed account of the building. 
I will only tell you that smoke issuing with force 
through a little tube, and corresponding with a large 
and tightly-covered boiler full of boiling water, sets 
in motion a large piece of machinery, composed of 
wheels, counterpoise and pendulum, which in their 
turn cause two large pumps to work continually. 
This piece of machinery and the two pumps are 
placed at the foot of a wooden tower, which is, 
I think, about one hundred feet in height, its 
breadth diminishing after the manner of pyramids, 


At the summit of this tower, which is octagonal, 
there is a small leaden cistern or basin, which 
receives the water the pumps send up, and from 
thence it flows into the great reservoir or pond 
of Marylebone. The inventor of this machinery is 
a very clever mathematician, Dr. Desaiguilli^res, 
celebrated for his physical experiments and his 
hydraulic inventions. 

The amount of water English people employ is 
inconceivable, especially for the cleansing of their 
houses. Though they are not slaves to cleanli- 
ness, like the Dutch, still they are very remarkable 
for this virtue. Not a week passes by but well- 
kept houses are washed twice in the seven days, 
and that from top to bottom ; and even every 
morning most kitchens, staircase, and entrance are 
scrubbed. All furniture, and especially all kitchen 
utensils, are kept with the greatest cleanliness. 
Even the large hammers and the locks on the 
door are rubbed and shine brightly. 

Would you believe it, though water is to be 
had in abundance in London, and of fairly good 
qyality, absolutely none is drunk .'' The lower 
classes, even the paupers, do not know what it is 


to quench their thirst with water. In this country- 
nothing but beer is drunk, and it is made in several 
quaHties. Small beer is what everyone drinks 
when thirsty ; it is used even in the best houses, 
and costs only a penny the pot. Another kind of 
beer is called porter, meaning carrier, because the 
greater quantity of this beer is consumed by the 
working classes. It is a thick and strong beverage, 
and the effect it produces, if drunk in excess, is the 
same as that of wine ; this porter costs threepence 
the pot. In London there are a number of ale- 
houses, where nothing but this sort of beer is sold. 
There are again other clear beers, called ale, some 
of these being as transparent as fine old wine, 
foreigners often mistaking them at first sight for 
the latter. The prices of ales differ, some costing 
one shilling the bottle, and others as much as 
eighteenpence. It is said that more grain is con- 
sumed in England for making beer than for making 

London possesses a great number of taverns ; 
these are big houses having apartments, some of 
them very clean and well kept. Nothing but wine 
is sold in these taverns, but that of any variety and 


kind you may wish for, and food, if desired, can be 
also provided. 

You know, of course, that there are no vineyards 
in England ; it is not hot enough for grapes to- 
ripen perfectly. But if no wine is made in the 
country, that of many other countries is obtainable. 
They come from France, Portugal, Spain, the 
Rhine, the Canaries, Madeira, etc. More wine 
from Oporto, in Portugal, is drunk than any other. 
The reason may be because of the cheapness 
(though it costs two shillings the bottle), or because 
it suits English palates. I myself think this wine 
heavy, hard, and coarse. The French wines that 
are drunk are called claret, and come from 
Bordeaux. These wines after the sea journey are 
excellent, some of them costing up to five shillings 
a bottle when sold in taverns. This exorbitant 
price is owing to the great weight of the casks and 
also to the heavy duties on French goods. I am 
told that the duty paid on a cask of wine equals 
the cost of the wine and the journey together. 
Though no wine is made in England, yet I am 
persuaded that three times more is drunk than is 
imported into the country, and I will solve this 


problem by telling you that most wine merchants, 
and especially tavern proprietors, possess the art 
and address of doubling their wine and even of 
making it threefold the original quantity, for with 
one cask they have purchased they will fill two or 
three others, by the addition of water and spirits, 
and other ingredients I do not know of, and this 
so skilfully that good judges of wines and even 
epicures do not immediately perceive it ; but if they 
have a drinking bout on it they will soon find out, 
and to their cost, that the wine has been tampered 
with. I do not mean you to think that no wines 
in England are pure. In most good houses and 
in those of noblemen and persons of rank, pure 
wines are always found, and are generally purchased 
by them in the place where they were made. 

A considerable quantity of punch is drunk. You 
may have heard of this drink, but very likely do 
not know how it is made. It is composed of sour 
and sweet, of strong and of weak. In order to 
make a good punch you must take the juice of four 
lemons, of two bitter oranges for a bowl containing 
three pots, this drink being always made in a big 
china bowl. You must have a lump of sugar the 

PUNCH i6i 

size of your fist, according to taSte and whether you 
like it sweet or not. Next add old brandy from 
Nantes, in France, which must be mellow ; this 
again to suit your taste. The best punch is made 
from two liquors that are brought from the Indies 
— one of them is rum, the other arak. Rum is 
a sort of brandy made in the West Indies with the 
dregs or refuse of the sugar cane. It is stronger 
than brandy, so you must add less of it to the 
punch. Arak comes from the East Indies, and it 
is extracted from rice. This is a sweet liquor, and 
you must add almost as much of it to the punch 
as you would of spring water. This liquor makes 
a most agreeable and attractive drink. A stranger 
who has not tasted it before will find it so good 
and sweet that he will drink of it without a thought 
that it might inconvenience him, but he will not 
fail to find out its hidden strength. A light punch 
in summer time is a most acceptable and refreshing 
drink, and slakes thirst much more efficaciously 
than wine would. In the winter time this drink is 
taken hot. 

In London there are a great nuniber of coffee- 
houses, most of which, to tell the truth, are not 

I. — M 


over clean or well furnished, owing to the quantity 
of people who resort to these places and because 
of the smoke, which would quickly destroy good 
furniture. Englishmen are great drinkers. In 
these coffee-houses you can partake of chocolate, 
tea, or coffee, and of all sorts of liquors, served 
hot ; also in many places you can have wine, 
punch, or ale. But it is not possible to get any 
refreshing drinks such as you find in Switzerland, 
that is to say, lemonade, syrups of almonds, of 
maidenhair fern, raspberries, and others, these 
drinks or syrups being almost unknown in England. 
What attracts enormously in these coffee-houses 
are the gazettes and other public papers. All 
Englishmen are great newsmongers. Workmen 
habitually begin the day by going to coffee-rooms 
in order to read the latest news. I have often 
seen shoeblacks and other persons of that class 
club together to purchase a farthing paper. Nothing 
is more entertaining than hearing men of this class 
discussing politics and topics of interest concerning 
royalty. You often see an Englishman taking a 
treaty of peace more to heart than he does his 
own affairs. About a dozen different papers appear 


in London — some every day, others twice a week 
or only once. In them you read news from foreign 
countries, generally copied from the Dutch gazette. 
The article dated from London is always the most 
important. In it you read of marriages and deaths, 
of the doings of distinguished personages, of the 
advancement of others in civil, military, and eccle- 
siastical employments, and in fact of everything 
interesting, comical and tragical, that has occurred 
in this big city. You can easily imagine of what 
amusing adventures you occasionally read, and the 
remaining part is filled up with advertisements. 
A lady will offer five guineas reward for a little 
lost dog worth fivepence. A husband will warn 
the public not to lend or sell his wife anything 
on credit. Another husband, on the contrary, will 
be crazy enough to advertise for his beloved better 
half, who has abandoned him in order to follow 
her sweetheart, promising a reward to whoever 
will bring her home, and pledging himself before- 
hand to ask no questions either of the one or the 
other of the pair. A quack will advertise that he 
will cure all ailments. A person who has been 
robbed promises a reward to whoever will help 


him to recover his stolen property. Entertain- 
ments and spectacles are advertised ; also offers 
of houses, domains, furniture, carriages, horses for 
sale or on hire, books, pamphlets, etc., and by 
reading these papers you know of all the gossip 
and of everything that has been said and done 
in this big town. I should have too much to do 
were I to tell you of all that the papers publish. 
The Craftsman, the Mist-journal and some other 
papers that appear once a week commence with 
a speech after the manner of the Spectator and 
Guardian, with this difference — that those appear- 
ing at the present day are written in a different 
style, being entirely composed of censures and 
satires against the ministers and the government. 
Some coffee-houses are a resort for learned 
scholars and for wits ; others are the resort of 
dandies or of politicians, or again of professional 
newsmongers ; and many others are temples of 
Venus. You can easily recognise the latter, because 
they frequently have as sign a woman's arm or 
hand holding a coffee-pot. There are a great 
number of these houses in the neighbourhood of 
Covent Garden ; they pass for being chocolate 


houses, and you are wailed on by beautiful, neat, 
well-dressed, and amiable, but very dangerous 

The common people and low populace have their 
taverns, or rather spirit shops ; for nothing but 
strong liquor is sold in this class of tavern. Spirits 
are made from grains or from juniper. These 
taverns are almost always full of men and women, 
and even sometimes of children, who drink with so 
much enjoyment that they find it difficult to walk 
on going away. Though these liquors are a sort 
of poison, and many people die from making too 
free a use of them, it would be most difficult to 
abolish these pothouses. On the whole the people 
of this country are very fond of liquors, which are 
said to be necessary because of the thickness and 
dampness of the atmosphere. You can easily 
imagine that London possesses many inns and 
hostelries and shops where you can purchase 
cooked food. Men and more especially foreigners 
live in furnished apartments, and take their meals 
in eating-houses. You can have rooms from six- 
pence to half a guinea a head. 

The hackney coaches in London are a great con- 


venience. About one thousand of these vehicles 
are to be found day and night in the public places 
and principal streets of the city and town. Most 
of them, to tell the truth, are ugly and dirty. 
The driver is perched high up on a wooden seat, as 
elevated as the imperial of a coach. The body of 
the carriage is very badly balanced, so that when 
inside you are most cruelly shaken, the pavement 
being very uneven, and most of the horses ex- 
cellent and fast trotters. A drive costs one shilling, 
provided you do not go further than a certain 
distance ; other drives will cost two or sometimes 
three shillings, according to distance. The drivers 
often ask more than is their due, and this is 
the case especially when they have to do with 
foreigners. To avoid being cheated, you must 
take the number of the coach marked on the door, 
and offer the driver a handful of coins, telling him 
to take his fare out of it. In this fashion of dealing 
he will not take more than his due, for should he 
do so you have a right to go and complain at the 
coach office, and the driver will be punished by being 
made to pay a fine, half of which would go to the 
plaintiff, and the other half to the officers of the 


Besides these conveyances there are a great 
number of chariots and coaches belonging to noble- 
men and to gentlemen. Some are magnificent, and 
most are drawn by fine and excellent horses. The 
chariots belonging to noblemen are recognisable by 
the small gilt coronets placed at each of the four 
corners of the imperial ; those belonging to dukes 
have ducal coronets, and so on. These fine 
chariots, behind which stand two or three foot- 
men attired in rich liveries, are certainly a great 
ornament to a town, and a convenience to rich 
people, but they are a great hindrance to those 
who are not wealthy and go on foot, for the 
streets being generally very muddy, the passers-by 
get terribly bespattered and dirty. Pedestrians, 
it is true, would be far worse off were there not 
on either side of the street a sort of elevated 
footpath for their convenience, but I think I have 
already told you of this. 

Near the palace and in its vicinity there are 
more than three hundred Sedan chairs for hire; 
like the cabs, they are found in the principal 
streets and thoroughfares. Chairs are very con- 
venient and pleasant for use, the bearers going 


so fast that you have some difficulty in keeping 
up with them on foot. I do not believe that in 
the whole of Europe better or more dexterous 
bearers are to be found ; all foreigners are surprised 
at their strength and skill. Like coaches, Sedan 
chairs are most convenient for the wealthy, but 
often very embarrassing for those of another class, 
for these chairs are allowed to be carried on the 
footpaths, and when a person does not take heed, 
or a stranger does not understand the " Have 
care," or " By your leave, sir," of the bearers, 
and does not make room to let them pass, he 
will run a great risk of being knocked down, for 
the bearers go very fast and cannot turn aside 
with their burden. 

I went through this experience on first coming 
to London. Not understanding the " By your 
leave" addressed to me, I did not draw aside, 
and repented quickly, for I received a tremendous 
push which hurled me four feet further on, and I 
should undoubtedly have fallen on my back had 
it not been for the wall of a house which broke 
my fall, but much to the injury of my arm. To 
my cost I thus learnt what the cry of the bearer 


means. Sedan chairs are also numbered, and 
there is an ofifice where you can go and make 
your complaint if cheated by your bearers. 

Besides hackney coaches and Sedan chairs, 
London possesses another means of public convey- 
ance in its boats. I believe there are about fifteen 
thousand of these on the Thames, in London and 
its vicinity. All these boats are numbered, and 
the boatmen likewise possess an office where you 
can apply should you have a complaint to lodge 
against one of their number. These boats are 
very attractive and cleanly kept, and are light in 
weight, painted generally in red or in green, and 
can hold six persons comfortably. On rainy days 
these boats are covered with coarse, strong tents, 
so that the rain cannot pass, and in summer, when 
the sun is burning hot, with an awning made of 
thin green or red woollen stuff. Some of these 
boats have two men, called " oars," and others 
have only one, and are called " scullers." You can 
hire boats in twenty or thirty different places, called 
"stairs." At these places from fifteen to twenty 
of these Tritons are usually to be found, dressed 
in a singular fashion in a sort of doublet pleated 


about the lower edge, some being clad in red, 
others in green, and on the fronts and backs of 
their doublets are plates of silver on which are 
embossed the arms of their masters or protectors, 
for some of these boatmen belong to the King, 
others to the Prince of Wales and to different 
peers of the realm, others again to the Lord 
Mayor or to the magistrates of London. These 
places are much sought after, for the oarsmen 
cannot of course join the fleet and the vessels 
when they are being manned in time of war. 
The boatmen wear a peculiar kind of cap made 
of velvet or of black plush, and sometimes of 
cloth, the same colour as their waistcoats. As soon 
as a person approaches the stairs these men run 
to meet him, calling out lustily, " Oars, oars ! " or 
"Sculler, sculler!" They continue this melodious 
music until the person who intends taking a boat 
points with his finger to the man he has chosen, 
and they at once unite in abusive language at the 
offending boatman. A boat with two oarsmen 
costs sixpence, and with one man threepence, and 
this from the Bridge to Westminster, but as soon 
as the Bridge is passed the cost will be doubled. 


If you wish to go for a pleasure-party on the 
river it is prudent to fix the price beforehand, 
for these watermen Hke to fleece the pubhc. 
There are also porters and bearers to be found 
in London. They carry a tin plate fastened to 
their belts with their numbers engraved on it, 
and you may in perfect security trust these men 
with an important packet, their office being obliged 
to answer for them should the object with which 
they have been trusted disappear. When a new 
porter is received into office he is obliged for this 
reason to give a security for ^100 sterling. 

Nowhere can you see finer markets than in 
London, especially those of Leadenhall, of Stock 
Market, and several others ; they are vast, covered, 
and shut in, and in them you can find every kind of 
butchers' meat, the finest in all the world, and kept 
with the greatest cleanliness. England is cele- 
brated, and justly so, for her excellent meats, 
especially beef and veal, mutton being rather coarse, 
often tasting of tallow, but full of juice. In these 
markets an abundance of every kind of salt and 
fresh water fish is to be found ; also vegetables and 
poultry of every description. Besides these large 


public markets, quantities of small vendors go 
through the streets, especially in the morning, 
calling out their wares for sale ; thus, if you prefer 
it, you need not leave your house to buy your 

All these details bore you, no doubt, and I dare- 
say you blame me for giving so many particulars. 
I will therefore leave this subject, and give you an 
account of a very strange phenomenon I witnessed 
here a fortnight ago. 

On the 13th of this month of October, at about 
nine o'clock in the evening, as I was returning home 
from Richmond, I remarked in the north several 
lights resembling sheet or summer lightning. This 
light surprised me, firstly on account of the lateness 
of the season, and secondly because the sky was 
quite clear and starlit. I was still more surprised 
when, after about ten minutes, these lights gradu- 
ally increased, and spread themselves over the 
whole firmament like torches of fire, red, blue, and 
white, flaming and flickering incessantly. At first 
they did not give out much light, but little by little 
the brightness increased, for the tongues of fire 
got closer and closer till they united in the centre 

o ^ 


of the firmament, where they formed a circle 
in appearance . like a sun. I was alone in the 
middle of a field at the time, and I must confess 
that, never having even heard of a like phenome- 
non, I was more than startled — I may even say 
that I was alarmed. I hastened home, and found 
my host (who is an honest and pious Presbyterian 
minister, and rather less ignorant than his fellows) 
in the garden, admiring with all his family the 
wonderful sight in the heavens. I could not help 
calling out to ask him the meaning of the strange 
spectacle. He noticed my anxiety, and hastened 
to remove it by explaining that we were beholding 
a magnificent aurora borealis, and that fifteen 
years before he had already seen one of the same 

The flaming tongues and the wonderful sun gave 
out so much light that the stars disappeared. The 
moon was new, and was therefore not on the horizon. 
I drew a letter out of my pocket and read it with as 
much ease as if it had been bright daylight. The 
bright light and supernatural sun lasted - about 
three-quarters of an hour, the circle gradually in- 
creasing in size as the flames which formed it 


dispersed in the firmament. It was nearly eleven 
o'clock when they disappeared towards the north ; 
but all night long faint lightning was to be seen in 
that direction, and for many nights after. 

The aurora borealis is not a rare sight in this 
country. Now and then one is seen in autumn, but 
not such important ones as that I have described ; 
they generally throw out a few lights like lightning 
or flames of fire towards the north. In quite 
northern countries, like Scotland, Denmark, and 
Ireland, they are still more frequent. 

Yesterday's Gazette tells us that this extraor- 
dinary phenomenon was witnessed in France, but 
only in the shape of a great light. In many places 
it was thought that this extraordinary glimmer was 
caused by a fire. The tocsin was rung in several 
towns and villages, and people ran from one place 
to another trying to discover a fire that did not 
exist. When you write, please tell me whether 
this phenomenon was seen at Lausanne, and what 
effect it produced. 

About one month or six weeks ago we had 
another wonder, but of a different sort. The King 
created the Duke of Richmond Knight of the 


Garter, and also Mr. Robert Walpole. The in- 
vestiture took place as usual in the chapel of the 
castle of Windsor. I could not see this ceremony, 
so it is impossible for me to describe it to you ; 
but I call this event a wonder because everyone 
was surprised that Mr. Robert Walpole, who is a 
plain gentleman and has no title, should obtain an 
honour which so far has scarcely, I may even say has 
never, been given to a simple, untitled gentleman, 
but only to princes and peers of the realm. Other 
persons are less surprised, knowing that Mr. Wal- 
pole is the first minister and the King's favourite. 
Many also think that he is the principal cause of 
the misunderstanding between the King and the 
Prince of Wales. The latter certainly treats him 
very distantly and coldly, to say the least of it, 
and shows his dislike to him on every possible 

Pray never treat me so. 


Character of the Enghsh — They are silent, scientific, courageous— 
The common people — Fights — Traits of generosity, of ingratitude 
— Charities — Hospitals — Beggars of London — Story of a beggar 
— Defects and good qualities of the English — Wine debauches — 
Sally Salsbury — Englishmen swear — Wines given to servants. 

London, Feb. y, 1727 

Though I am sure my letters are not worthy of 
all the amiable compliments you pay me, yet I 
am charmed to know that they amuse you as well 
as some of our mutual friends to whom you have 
shown them ; but pray remember they are not 
written for the public. Hoping you will not be 
vexed at my request, I continue my letter. 

You ask me to tell you something of the charac- 
ter, habits, customs, and ways of the English, but 
you do not know what a difficult task you set me, 
and I might answer by begging you to consult 
authors who have written books on this subject, 



and in this way to exempt me from writing badly 
what others have written well ; but as it is always a 
pleasure for me as well as a law to do what you 
ask of me, I will make every effort to do my best. 

I do not think there is a people more prejudiced 
in its own favour than the British people, and they 
allow this to appear in their talk and manners. 
They look on foreigners in general with contempt, 
and think nothing is as well done elsewhere as in 
their own country, and certainly many things con- 
tribute to keep up this good opinion of themselves, 
their love for their nation, its wealth, plenty, and 
liberty, and the comforts that are enjoyed. They 
see, on the other hand, what a number of foreigners 
come to England to seek their fortunes, and com- 
paratively few out of mere curiosity, whilst English- 
men, on the contrary, do not leave their country, 
but if they do it is only for a few years, and 
generally only for pleasure. 

Englishmen are said to be very proud ; certainly 
many are so, but in general they are more cold and 
reserved than really proud, and they are taciturn by 
nature, especially when compared to the French. 
Though twenty men will be sitting smoking and 

I. — N 


reading newspapers in a tavern, they talk so little 
that you will hear a fly buzz ; their conversation is 
interrupted by long pauses, and an isolated "How 
do you do ? " will alone prove to you that they are 
aware you are there, and have nothing more to 
say to you. They are not anxious to welcome 
foreigners, but rarely make any demonstrations of 
friendship that are not sincere. You can count 
upon an Englishman's offer of service, for he will 
never offer this lightly, and it is a proof he knows 
he can trust you. 

The greater number of educated Englishmen 
have much solid good sense, and in many cases 
rare genius, and I am certain that the liberty 
they enjoy, allowing them to say and write their 
ideas and opinions freely, contributes immensely 
to make science popular ; but you rarely meet with 
that bright, petulant, and lively wit you meet with 
in France. Few Englishmen would amuse them- 
selves inventing and writing love stories after the 
manner and style of the French, but they write 
scientific and sound works like those of Newton, 
Tillotson, Radclifife, Addison, and others. The 
writings most in fashion at the present period are 


pamphlets for and against the government, on 
politics and different subjects of interest relating 
to England and her allies. Almost every day 
some of these works appear and are eagerly sought 
after, for politics in this country seem to interest 
everyone. I suppose this taste is cultivated by 
the liberty which the government affords, and in 
which Englishmen take great pride, for they value 
this gift more than all the joys of life, and would 
sacrifice everything to retain it. Even the populace 
will make proof of this, and will give you to under- 
stand that there is no country in the world where 
such perfect freedom may be enjoyed as in England. 
It may be said with entire justice that English- 
men are very brave ; they give a convincing proof 
of this in seeming to fear neither death nor danger. 
Their soldiers fight with the greatest valour. This 
has been sufficiently proved in the latest wars. 
However, few Englishmen seek service out of 
England, and very few are partisans of duelling, 
so that you do not often hear of this mode of 
settling quarrels, but should duels occur, the com- 
batants will always come out of the fight with 


The lower populace is of a brutal and insolent 
nature, and is very quarrelsome. Should two men 
of this class have a disagreement which they cannot 
end up amicably, they retire into some quiet place 
and strip from their waists upwards. Everyone 
who sees them preparing for a fight surrounds 
them, not in order to separate them, but on the 
contrary to enjoy the fight, for it is a great sport 
to the lookers-on, and they judge the blows and 
also help to enforce certain rules in use for this 
mode of warfare. The spectators sometimes get 
so interested that they lay bets on the combatants 
and form a big circle around them. The two 
champions shake hands before commencing, and 
then attack each other courageously with their 
fists, and sometimes also with their heads, which 
they use like rams. Should one of the men fall, 
his opponent may, according to the rules, give 
him a blow with his fist, but those who have laid 
their bets on the fallen man generally encourage 
him to continue till one of the combatants is quite 
knocked up and says he has had enough. Would 
you believe it, I have actually seen women — be- 
longing, it is true, to the scum of the people — 


fighting in this same manner. The insolence of 
the populace is so great that as soon as an honest 
man has any disagreement with one of their kind, 
he is at once invited to strip and fight. It would 
be dangerous to retaliate with a cane or sword ; 
the lookers-on would at once be against him, and 
things might end badly for him. Noblemen of 
rank, almost beside themselves with anger at the 
arrogance of a carter or person of that sort, have 
been seen to throw off their coats, wigs, and swords, 
in order to use their fists. This sort of adven- 
ture often befell the Duke of Leeds, and he even 
made it into an amusement. My Lord Herbert, 
who is a very strong and robust man, recently 
fought a porter, and punished him well ; the man 

was so surprised that he exclaimed, " D sure 

you are the son of a porter, not of a lord ; you 
know how to use your fists too well." 

Englishmen are generally generous and grateful 
for services rendered. I will relate an instance of 
this which has struck me. 

Monsieur de la Harpe, from Rolle, in Switzer- 
land, of whom undoubtedly you have heard, 
was travelling in Italy with my Lord Boston, the 


Earl of Grantham's eldest son. In some small 
town — I do not remember which — he met an English- 
man, who appeared to be in great straits of poverty, 
and who appealed to him for help, saying he was a 
gentleman by birth, and that he had been robbed 
in his travels, and had no money to continue his 
journey. He was, in fact, in a miserable situation. 
There was no means of discovering whether this 
man spoke the truth or not. However, Monsieur 
de la Harpe offered him a sufficient sum of money 
to enable him to travel to Milan, and there await a 
letter of credit from England. This young man 
was in reality what he had declared himself to be, 
and as soon as he got to London he returned the 
sum that had been lent him. Several years later 
Monsieur de la Harpe was walking in St. James's 
Park when he met this English gentleman, but did 
not recognise him. This was not the case on the 
other side ; the grateful Englishman went up to 
Monsieur de la Harpe, greeted him most affection- 
ately, and invited him to dinner next day. After a 
sumptuous meal, his host addressed him thus, " Sir, 
I cannot forget how, and in what an amiable manner, 
you helped me out of the difficult position I was in. 


Allow me to prove my gratitude by making you a 
small present." With that he presented Monsieur 
de la Harpe with a deed he had had drawn up that 
morning, making him owner of a pretty cottage 
and small domain ten or twelve miles distant from 
London, the farming of which brought in about 
£^0 sterling a year. You cannot but agree with 
me that this was a nice present, and though this 
Englishman was very rich, it does not detract from 
his merit. 

Though Englishmen are, on the whole, generous 
and large-hearted, others are as ungrateful as else- 
where ; these latter show it more especially by 
closing their doors to persons to whom they owe 
obligations. I might tell you of several cases of 
this, but will only give you one in detail, as it was 
related to me by the person to whom it happened. 

One of my acquaintances at Geneva, Monsieur 
Aubert, rich and successful in business, with a pros- 
perous commerce, comfortable and well-appointed 
home, once had recommended to him a young 
Englishman of rank, whom he received constantly 
and treated with great kindness and hospitality. 
During the year this young man spent at Geneva 


he visited Monsieur Aubert, and took his meals 
with the family constantly, and his dissolute habits 
having led him into several difficulties, he every 
time applied to Monsieur Aubert for help, and 
never in vain. 

When this young nobleman left Geneva he made 
Monsieur Aubert a thousand protestations of grati- 
tude and affection, and made him promise that 
should he ever go to England, he would seek him 
out and not forget his promise. Some years later 
Monsieur Aubert lost his fortune, and being in 
difficult circumstances was obliged to seek occupa- 
tion in another country. He travelled to England, 
and on arriving in London his first thought was for 
the young nobleman whom he had treated with so 
much kindness in Geneva. Monsieur Aubert was 
received very coldly and his visit curtailed on some 
business pretext. This treatment surprised Mon- 
sieur Aubert, but a few days later he made another 
attempt. He was told that " My lord " was away, 
a second time that " My lord " was in the country, 
on a third visit that he was unwell and could not 
receive him. Finally, after making about a dozen 
different attempts, he was one day discussing with 


a servant who would not let him into his lordship's 
presence, when a door giving on to the hall was 
violently opened, and my lord appearing said, " I 
am surprised at your showing so much obstinacy in 
coming here every day, when you have been in- 
formed twenty times that I am not at home. In 
order to save you trouble, I am glad to inform you 
personally that I am not at home, and never will 
be for you." With that he retired and shut the 
door. I leave you to imagine poor Monsieur 
Aubert's state of mind, for he had always laid the 
blame on the insolent servants, and he went away 
fuming at Englishmen in general, supposing them 
to be all of the same character as this nobleman. 
I personally know, and think you do too, a fine and 
large town in Switzerland — I need not name it you 
— where the inhabitants, and especially the young 
men, greatly resemble this young Englishman. 
Ingratitude is found in every country, and I only 
give you these examples in order to prove my 
theory that Englishmen push their virtues and vices 
further than other people. 

Here are some traits of charity. No rich person 
dies without leaving large legacies. Most parishes 


in London and in the country have hospitals for 
the sick, the poor, and the aged ; also charity 
schools where poor children are fed, taught, and 
clothed. As soon as the children are old enough, 
many of these schools send them out as apprentices, 
according to the work the child seems fitted for. 
I must name a few of these excellent institutions. 

Christ's Hospital, where the children on account 
of the colour of their clothing are named " Blue 
children." This is one of the largest charity 
schools, for it brings up eight hundred to one 
thousand children of either sex and settles them in 
trade. Their clothes are cut after the fashion of 
those worn in King Edward VI. 's time, he being 
the founder of this hospital. Many private indi- 
viduals have endowed large charitable institutions. 
A wealthy merchant, Thomas Gresham, in former 
times founded at least thirty hospitals for the 
poor and sick, inside and outside London. The 
knight Sutton spent ;^20,ooo to buy and build 
the " Chartreuse," which is a spacious building, 
and he left ^4,000 yearly to keep it up. This 
establishment is the abode of eighty poor and 
aged gentlemen and officers, and also a place of 


education for forty pauper youths, who are educated 
in classical studies until they are ready to enter the 
Universities, and they then receive ;^20 yearly, 
which sum suffices for their eight years' University 
education. The revenues of this institution have 
at present attained the sum of ;^6,ooo sterling. 
The Merchant Tailors' School, founded by Sir 
Thomas White for the education and maintenance 
of three hundred children, is another magnificent 
charity ; and a wealthy publisher named Guy, 
having neither children nor near relatives, died 
leaving ;^ 100,000 sterling to found and endow a 
hospital for the poor, the sick, and the wounded ; 
but I should have too much to do were I to tell 
you of all the institutions of this sort which have 
been founded by private individuals. Enormous 
sums are contributed in the whole kingdom in aid 
of the poor. I have been told they amount to 
something like ;^8oo,ooo a year. Every parish 
has the care of its own poor, and for that purpose 
receives a certain sum yearly from each of the 
houses in its district, according to their importance. 
Notwithstanding all this, quantities of beggars are 
continually to be seen asking for alms in all the 


streets and highways of London ; it is true that a 
great number beg from inclination, and are not in 
dire necessity. I will relate to you an example told 
me by a lady of my acquaintance, and I know one 
can believe all she says. 

This lady was much attached to a pretty servant- 
maid she had, being very well satisfied with her 
services. A young man became acquainted with 
the girl, and, falling in love with her, asked her 
to marry him. She replied that she would accept 
him with pleasure, but before marrying him she 
first wished to know his trade and means of sus- 
tenance, for that she was afraid to take a man 
without money or means of livelihood. Her lover 
at once produced a purse containing at least one 
hundred golden guineas, and said that his trade 
brought him in much gain, but that he could not 
possibly divulge it to her before the marriage. 
Quite dazzled by the sight of the gold, the girl 
made no more difficulties, and they were married. 
A few days later the husband told his wife that 
it was time she learnt his trade, which was that of 
simulating a cripple, and he added that she on 
her side must do the same. For a long time the 


poor girl resisted her husband's orders, but he 
personally inflicted such barbarous treatment on 
her that her head appeared to be attacked by 
cancer. In that state, and dressed in rags, she 
took up her station in Leicesterfield Square near 
the Prince of Wales's palace, where passers-by 
gave her charity. About two years later her 
former mistress, passing this place, saw and re- 
cognised her, and, being struck with pity, implored 
her to go to her and relate her misfortunes, but 
the woman, no doubt afraid lest her secret should 
be discovered, disappeared that day from the 
square and never returned. Several years later 
her mistress was much surprised at receiving the 
same woman, looking perfectly healthy and well 
dressed, but in deep mourning. She confessed 
the deceits she and her husband had practised in 
order to make their trade successful, adding that 
she had been forced into it against her will, and 
that, fortunately for her, her husband had just 
died, leaving about ;^ 1,000 sterling, all gradually 
amassed by begging and by saving ; for he had 
been so avaricious that he never spent one penny, 
but lived on the remains of bread and meat begged 


from rich people's houses. You see by this ex- 
ample that in a big town like London there may 
be, on one hand, beggars who are rogues and 
cheats, and on another many interesting charities. 
Let us return to the character of the English. 
They are most kind-hearted and compassionate, 
but they think they are more so than any other 
nation, hence the term "good-natured," which is 
not found outside England. Generally speaking, 
English people are not servile, and are not capable 
of baseness to obtain notoriety. There are even 
a great number who are not courtiers, and who 
avoid the court and its pomps, preferring the re- 
pose and pleasures of a retired life. A man out 
of favour at court will not lose his friends on 
that account, but will very likely gain the friend- 
ship of others. The Englishman in general is 
not made for court ; he is too fond of his liberty 
and is too sincere and artless, and he is not a 
flatterer. He detests trouble and restraints to 
such a degree that he lives according to his own 
taste and ideas, and does not consider that fashion 
is to be followed with servility. There are some 
people who keep so apart from fashion that in any 


other country they would be considered singularly 
odd and perhaps something more ; but in this 
country people are above caring what is thought 
of them, and do not trouble themselves about 
other people's opinions. 

Though many English people have merit and 
good qualities, many others naturally have their 
weak points and defects. They cherish their liberty 
to such an extent that they often let both their 
religious opinions and their morals degenerate into 
licentiousness. This is the reason why so many 
different sects are to be found in England, and 
also so great a number of persons with deistical 
opinions, and who, taking advantage of the leniency 
of the government, occasionally publish pamphlets 
against the established religion, that in any other 
country would, together with their authors, pass 
through the hands of the executioner. A man of 
the name of Woolston was profane and godless 
enough to write and publish a treatise against our 
Saviour's miracles. 

An innumerable quantity of Englishmen are still 
more corrupt in their morals than in their religion. 
Debauch runs riot with an unblushing countenance. 


It is not the lower populace alone that is addicted 
to drunkenness ; numbers of persons of high rank 
and even of distinction are over fond of liquor. 
This vice is said to be less widely spread than 
formerly ; but all men, even churchmen, have a 
particular club or tavern, where they meet at least 
twice in the week to drink together in company. 
Though no wines are grown in England, it is no 
hindrance to drunkenness, for in the daytime the 
lower classes get intoxicated with liquor and beer, 
and the higher classes in the evening with Portu- 
guese wines and punch. 

Some time ago a courtesan, of the name of 
Sally Salsbury, famed for her rare and wonderful 
beauty, her wit and fun, became the fashion in 
London, and was favoured by distinguished person- 
ages. One night, at a wine supper, one of her 
admirers having displeased her by some uncom- 
plimentary speech, she seized a knife and plunged 
it into his body. Next morning she was conveyed 
a prisoner to Newgate. You will suppose her 
lovers abandoned her in her distress. They did 
no such thing, but crowded into the prison, pre- 
senting her with every comfort and luxury possible. 


As soon as the wounded man — who, by the way, 
belongs to one of the best-known English families — 
was sufficiently recovered, he asked for her discharge, 
but Sally Salsbury died of brain fever, brought on 
by debauch, before she was able to leave the prison. 

You will, no doubt, be surprised to hear of so 
much corruption, but many causes contribute to 
this. The liberty and leniency of the government, 
the impunity of vice, the by no means considerable 
education which the young men receive, and the 
easy and frequent temptations of a big town are 
the sources of the extraordinary licentiousness that 
reigns openly in London. I do not mean to say 
that it is a general vice. God forbid! I should 
be most unjust towards a number of well-conducted, 
reserved, and respectable persons, whom the public, 
recognising their merits, term "civil and sober 

Englishmen are mighty swearers, and I consider 
this as another of their defects. Not only the 
common people have this unfortunate habit, but 
also officers, and what are termed " beaux," swear 
when they are youths to give themselves airs, and 
continue afterwards from habit. I have found 
I. — o 


many people very interested in money matters, and 
one might use the celebrated phrase, " Point 
d'argent, point de Suisses," as much with regard 
to them as to my own countrymen. If you frequent 
fashionable houses, the " wines," or what we call in 
Switzerland " Trinkgeld," that one is expected to 
give to the servants is a considerable expense. 
If you wish to pay your respects to a nobleman 
and to visit him, you must give his porter money 
from time to time, else his master will never be at 
home for you. If you take a meal with a person 
of rank, you must give every one of the five or six 
footmen a coin when leaving. They will be ranged 
in file in the hall, and the least you can give them 
is one shilling each, and should you fail to do this, 
you will be treated insolently the next time. My 
Lord Southwell stopped me one day in the park, 
and reproached me most amicably with my having 
let some time pass before going to his house to take 
soup with him. "In truth, my lord," I answered, 
"I am not rich enough to take soup with you 
often." His lordship understood my meaning and 
smiled. This is an abuse that noblemen and 
gentlemen have vainly endeavoured to abolish. 

"WINES" 19s 

Besides these wines, you are expected to give 
Christmas boxes at the end of the year. An 
acquaintance of mine, one of Mr. Walpole's most 
intimate friends, assured me that the latter 's porter 
receives near on ^80 as Christmas boxes. Truly 
this is a prodigious sum ; but if you consider 
that his master is first minister, it is not incredible, 
for some persons go to his house so often and pay 
him so much court that they are obliged to give 
his porter at least a guinea. 

My opinion on the whole of Englishmen is, that 
among them you find more sensible, thoughtful, 
trustworthy, and noble -hearted men than in any 
other nation ; but, on the other hand, a great 
number of them are whimsical, capricious, surly, 
and changeable, being one day devoted to one 
thing and next day caring for it no longer. Of 
this I have seen several striking examples, but 
you may rest assured that this will never be the 
case with my friendship for you. 


About suicides — Melancholy of the author — Divers odd suicides — 
Duke of Manchester attempts suicide — Penalties inflicted on 
suicides — Of English women — Their style of dressing — Character 
of English women — They are tender-hearted, but jealous, in- 
terested — About lords — Knights — Knights of the Garter — Knights 
of the Thistle — Knight baronets and bachelors — Squires — The 
clergy — Merchants — Artisans — Peasants — The populace of London 
— English cooking. 

Islington, near London 
May 29, 1727 

I HAVE so many things to tell you concerning the 
English character that I think I must continue the 
subject in this letter. 

I was much surprised at the light-hearted way 
in which men of this country commit suicide. I 
could not understand this mania, which astonished 
me as greatly as it does other foreigners, but it no 
longer does so, and I must tell you the reason why. 

Shortly after writing my last letter I fell very ill, 
and I cannot describe to you all the horrors of this 



terrible malady. Little by little I lost my appetite 
and my sleep ; I suffered from great anxiety and 
uneasiness, and that without any reason. Finally 
I fell into the deepest and blackest melancholy, and 
suffered untold misery. My friends, full of pity for 
me, did their best to amuse me, but they gave me 
more pain than pleasure. Everything made me 
sad and anxious ; I could no longer sleep, and my 
food disgusted me. Had I been an Englishman 
I should certainly have put myself out of misery ; 
but I am persuaded that it is a crime to commit 
suicide, and that there is a life hereafter where we 
shall have to account for our actions. The desire 
and thought of putting an end to my sorrows by 
a speedy death was ever in my thoughts, and it 
required all my strength of mind to resist its deadly 
attraction. One of my intimate friends, saddened 
by my unfortunate condition, hired a lodging for me 
at Islington, and persuaded me to leave London 
and go there. I had not been in this place for a 
fortnight before the change of air, the milk which 
I took every morning straight from the cow, did 
me a world of good. By the Lord's grace I am 
delivered from my terrible anxieties and tortures. 


but I still continue taking cow's milk, and, in the 
hopes of regaining my appetite and health, I shall 
do so for some time longer. I am certain that 
most Englishmen who put an end to their days are 
attacked by this terrible malady of the mind, for it 
is very frequent in London. Some doctors say 
beer causes it, others that it is owing to the dense- 
ness of the air and the coal-smoke you breathe ; 
but people also put an end to their lives from other 
motives, and sometimes for very trifling ones. 
Several reasons are the cause of this. English- 
men look on death in quite a different light to what 
other nations do, and are not afraid of it. As I 
have mentioned elsewhere, most criminals may be 
seen going with wonderful courage and fortitude 
to the gallows. I have also remarked that the 
passions of this nation are extremely strong and 
violent ; they cannot bear failure, and customs and 
example are, I think, a great incitement to them. 
It is not the men alone who take these deadly 
resolutions, for women also, who should be gentle, 
patient, and retiring, kill themselves, many of these 
being poor creatures who have been abandoned, 
and who cannot face their existence alone. I must 


relate to you a curious episode that appeared last 
year in print in the gazettes and newspapers. 

A well-known courtesan became enamoured of a 
young Irishman, who did not return her love in the 
same degree. The fair lady, unable to bear her 
disappointment, hanged herself. Englishmen were 
much surprised that a woman of this class should 
have put an end to her days for love of a man, and 
more especially for an Irishman. 

I have been told by a well-informed person that 
some years ago a young man, in despair at his 
mistress's treatment, resolved to have recourse to 
his country's radical remedy. Having made up his 
mind to end his life, he locked himself into his 
room with a pair of loaded pistols. The first bullet 
carried away his right eye and part of the frontal 
bone. He then seized the second pistol, but was 
not more successful, for the second bullet did not 
kill him, though it shattered his jaw. This man's 
hand must have shaken, notwithstanding his 
English courage and fortitude, for it appears to 
me that in an action of this kind your hand cannot 
be very assured, whatever your nation. These two 
pistol-shots attracting the servants, the doors were 


forced open, and the young man was found in a 
terrible plight, for he was still attempting to put an 
end to his life by hanging himself with a rope 
fastened to the ceiling. The most curious part of 
the episode is the ending, for the fair lady was so 
touched with these extraordinary proofs of affection 
that she consented to marry the young man as soon 
as his health was restored, notwithstanding his 
terrible disfigurement. As such a long distance 
separates us, I think there cannot be any indis- 
cretion in naming William Montague, Duke of 
Manchester, as being the hero, if I may so call 
him, of this tale. 

One of my friends, living in the same house with 
myself, had a valet of whom he was very fond, 
though the man was of a melancholy, eccentric, and 
arbitrary character. Whenever his master addressed 
a word to him that did not please him, he would 
threaten to go and hang himself One day ^ my 
friend, whom these perpetual threats aggravated, 
drew sixpence from his pocket, and throwing it on 
the table exclaimed, " Here is the necessary six- 
pence to buy the rope with." The valet did not 
wait to be told twice; leaving the room in anger, he 


went to the garret and hanged himself. A few. 
hours later a maidservant found him dead. On 
hearing of this tragical ending, my friend was so 
distressed that it was with the greatest difficulty I 
could prevent him from following his dear valet's 
example. His despair was not so great at the man's 
having hanged himself as at the thought that he 
had encouraged him to do so by the offer of the 
sixpence, and no doubt he was right. 

Notwithstanding the penalty the law inflicts on 
those who have attempted to commit suicide, it 
does not seem to have put a stop to the custom. 
Almost every week, and certainly several times in 
a month, the papers announce a suicide. The 
penalty of the law consists in the confiscation of 
money and lands and in the burying of the corpse 
with a stake thrust through it, and without a bier, 
at the crossing of two high roads. 

Whenever a person has committed suicide an 
officer of the law, named the Coroner, is called with 
a jury of twelve men, who examine the corpse 
and give a verdict. The parents, friends, and 
acquaintances of the defunct never fail to declare 
that the deceased was a lunatic, and no doubt with 


truth, for to my mind the greatest proof of lunacy 
anyone can give is taking away his own life in cold 
blood. The coroner now and then comes in for 
a windfall. Some years ago an old and wealthy 
nobleman, in despair at leaving no children, and 
still more at the thought that after his death his 
great possessions would go to a brother whom he 
cordially hated, put an end to his life by a bullet 
through his head, in hopes that his riches would 
be confiscated and go to the Crown. Unfortunately 
for his hopes he left a letter on his table addressed 
to the King, in which he declared that he was 
not mad, but that he had killed himself in order 
that his possessions might be confiscated. His 
intentions were doomed to failure, for the heirs 
found the letter and made away with it, giving 
the coroner the sum of ;^i,ooo sterling in the 
hopes of appeasing his evident doubts ; and thus 
the hated brother got possession of the titles and 
riches of the dead man who had accomplished 
this act in order to prevent it. You cannot but 
recognise the folly of committing suicide. 

Enough of these lugubrious and repugnant 
tragedies : let us turn to other matters of interest. 


I know of some to suit your tastes, for I am quite 
sure you are waiting for my description of English 
women with impatience. Allow me to satisfy your 

You are aware, I know, that the women of this 
country are said to be beautiful, and I must own 
that it is the truth, and they are so more especially 
in the country. Nothing can be more charming 
and attractive than these country girls. Their 
complexions are like lilies and roses ; they have 
a look of health that entrances you ; and their 
manners are artless, simple, and modest. Foreigners 
— more especially Frenchmen — are surprised at 
their charm, for I have been told that in that 
country the women of this condition are ugly and 
disgusting. You do not see many beautiful women 
in London Society, and at Court I remarked only 
four or five who could pass muster. But among 
the citizen class they are more numerous, and there 
are a great number among the courtesans, these 
being mostly women from the country who have 
been led astray and then forsaken, and have come 
to London to seek their fortune. 

Most English women are fair and have pink and 


white complexions, soft though not expressive eyes, 
and slim, pretty figures, of which they are very 
proud and take great care, for in the morning as 
soon as they rise they don a sort of bodice which 
encircles their waists tightly. Their shoulders and 
throats are generally fine. They are fond of 
ornaments, and old and young alike wear four or 
five patches, and always two large ones on the 
forehead. Few women curl or powder their hair, 
and they seldom wear ribbons, feathers, or flowers, 
but little headdresses of cambric or of magnificent 
lace on their pretty, well-kept hair. They pride 
themselves on their neatly shod feet, on their fine 
linen, and on their gowns, which are made accord- 
ing to the season either of rich silk or of cotton 
from the Indies. Very few women wear woollen 
gowns. Even servant-maids wear silks on Sundays 
and holidays, when they are almost as well dressed 
as their mistresses. Gowns have enormous hoops, 
short and very wide sleeves, and it is the fashion 
to wear little mantles of scarlet or of black velvet, 
and small hats of straw that are vastly becoming. 
Ladies even of the highest rank are thus attired 
when they go walking or to make a simple visit. 


English women and men are very clean : not a 
day passes by without their washing their hands, 
arms, faces, necks, and throats in cold water, and 
that in winter as well as in summer. 

I have mentioned that English women are fond 
of luxury and of ornaments, and they spare no 
trouble to be becomingly attired. A merchant had 
sent for a very rich silk and gold brocaded cloth 
from France, and had offered it to the Princess of 
Wales, who refused to purchase it, finding it too 
brilliant and costly. The wife of a wealthy brewer, 
alderman of the City, hearing of this, purchased 
the cloth, had it made into a gown, and wore it 
at the next drawing-room or Court circle. I think 
no French woman would have ventured to pay 
court in such a fashion. 

I must now give you my experience of the 
character of English women. I find them gentle, 
frank, and artless, and they do not try to conceal 
their sentiments and passions. Generally speaking, 
they are not coquettish, and they do not simper 
affectedly, nor do they make a show of displeasing, 
bold airs. On the contrary, their modest demeanour 
charms you, and they soon lose their timidity, and 


will banter with you. The[y are rather lazy, and 
few do any needlework, but spend their time eating 
or walking, and going to the play or assemblies 
where games are played. Even women of the 
lower class do little needlework. 

English women are tender-hearted. When they 
have a passion for anyone they do not trouble to 
conceal it, but are capable of great resolution to 
show their love. The result of this trait of their 
character is a number of ill-assorted marriages. 
A mistress, knowing that her lover would run a 
risk of being hanged if he ran away with her, 
will not scruple to run away with him herself, 
knowing that the law cannot reach her. The 
women of this country do not despise foreigners 
as the men do ; they are not distant to them and 
sometimes will prefer them to their own country- 
men. This is not surprising, for Englishmen do 
not spoil their women by flattery and attentions, 
generally preferring drinking and gambling to 
female company. 

If Englishmen are not jealous of their wives, 
neither are the wives jealous of their husbands. A 
wife is not generally unhappy when she discovers 


her husband has a mistress ; on the contrary, it 
sometimes happens that if her husband so desires 
it she will be polite towards her rival, but at the 
same time she will probably console herself with 
a friend, and thus both husband and wife are 
happy. I have been assured that one of the 
first noblemen in the kingdom obliged his wife 
to receive his mistress, but the wife was so clever 
and managed her husband so well that he in his 
turn was persuaded to receive her lover. When 
my lady's lover died she was so unhappy that she 
wore deep mourning and made her servants wear 
it too, without her husband showing any desire to 
prevent it. 

English women walk fast and well, but in reality 
I think they do it more in order to show their 
clothes than for the pleasure of the exercise ; and 
this is the case too with plays and concerts, in 
which they do not really seem to take much 
interest. I have told you that I find men in- 
terested in money matters ; the women are just 
as much so. Few will refuse presents, these being 
often the keys to their hearts. A sign that they 
are very fond of wealth is that as soon as you 


mention anyone to them that they do not know, 
their first inquiry will be, "Is he rich?" In this 
country one is esteemed for one's wealth more 
than for anything else. It is true that riches are 
accounted happiness everywhere, but more par- 
ticularly here. 

Now that I have told you all I can about 
English men and women, I must tell you about 
rank. There are different classes of nobility. 
Peers are properly the nobles ; their sons have the 
title of lord, but are not nobles ; dukes' sons are 
called lords by courtesy ; viscounts, and the sons 
of viscounts and barons, have no title. The eldest 
son of a count is by courtesy a viscount. Most 
noblemen are very wealthy. The Duke of Bedford 
possesses more than ^50,000 a year. Many 
others have ten, twenty, and thirty. A duke 
possessing five or six thousand pounds sterling 
a year is not considered wealthy. Being so rich 
as they are, it is not surprising if English peers 
spend a great deal and have numerous coaches, 
horses, and servants. A curious fact is that many 
noblemen live in town to economise, and though 
they are surrounded with great luxury, they declare 


that in their country seats they are forced to spend 
far more, having to keep open house and table, 
packs of hounds, stables full of horses, and to 
entertain followers of every description. 

When in town they do not have these same 
expenses, but they are not so much thought of as 
in the country, where they are like little kings, 
according to the good they do and to the extent 
of their bounty. In the country most of them have 
sumptuous abodes, or rather palaces, whereas in 
town they are lodged like citizens. Peers of the 
realm have several privileges ; they are not obliged 
to swear fealty, and there is a law called scandalum 
magnatum, which forbids under a heavy fine scandal 
to be spoken of them. Like the members of the 
Lower House of Parliament, they pay no duty on 
letters that do not come from foreign countries. 

There are different classes of knights, some wear- 
ing orders and others not. Those who wear them 
are Knights of the Garter or St. George, of the 
Thistle and of the Bath. Those who do not wear 
orders are the knights baronets and the knights 
bachelors. I will give you particulars of each. 

There is no question that the Order of the Garter 
I. — p 


is one of the most ancient and noble in all 
Europe. It was instituted in 1350 by the brave 
King Edward III. Some historians tell you that 
the Countess of Salisbury, dancing at a ball, let a 
garter of blue silk ribbon fall on the ground. The 
King, much struck with the grace and beauty of 
the fair wearer, hastened to pick it up, and per- 
ceiving that some of the courtiers smiled at his 
taste, he pronounced the words, " Honi soit qui mal 
y pense," and knotting the ribbon round his arm, 
declared that many would be only too honoured 
were they decorated with this badge. A few days 
later King Edward created the knighthood in 
question. Other historians ridicule this legend, and 
declare that King Edward instituted this order to 
commemorate some military exploit. In any case, 
it is the most ancient of all orders of knighthood, 
and a very noble one, the kings of England being 
its grand masters. Only four-and-twenty knights 
can be created at a time ; thus it has never been 
debased or made common, for only foreign princes 
and peers of the realm are knighted, and rarely, 
perhaps only once in a century, is this honour 
bestowed on a plain gentleman. 


Knights wear across their breast, from left to 
right, a blue ribbon to which is suspended a 
St. George in gold and enamel, enriched with 
gems, or sometimes a large gold medallion repre- 
senting the patron saint of the order. The star is 
embroidered on the left side of the coat, and in its 
centre is a red cross surrounded with the garter, 
its rays being embroidered in silver. Besides the 
insignia they wear a blue garter on the left leg ; 
this is fastened with a gold buckle, on which the 
motto of the order is embroidered in gold or pearls. 
The investiture always takes place in the chapel of 
Windsor Castle. 

The order of the Knights of the Thistle is a 
Scottish order, and also extremely ancient. It is 
given only to the first peers of the realm, and 
there can only be twelve in number, the King 
being grand master. They wear a wide green 
ribbon across their breasts, and a silver star on 
the left side of their coats, in the centre of which is 
a thistle, emblem of the order, embroidered in gold. 

The knights who do not wear orders are the 
knights baronets and the knights bachelors. The 
former inherit their title from their fathers, and 


this rank is the most honoured after that of baron. 
Baronets were created by James I. in 1612, and 
counted two hundred ; their number is now greatly 
increased. The King creates the knights bachelors 
and gives this title indifferently to soldiers and 
civilians, and also to merchants. Most of the 
knights, and especially the baronets, are very 
wealthy, making great show of riches, and living 
like noblemen. 

After the knights come the esquires. This title 
is given to the descendants of good and ancient 
families, and to those who fill some office in the 
service of the King or State. A great number of 
these gentry or lesser nobility have neither the 
manners nor the politeness which real gentlemen 
are supposed to possess, and their education is 
often very limited. Debauch and hunting form 
their principal occupations. Naturally there are 
several noted exceptions to this rule. I know of 
some men who have travelled, and of others who 
take a particular interest in science and literature, 
but they are certainly in the minority. The term 
gentleman is usually given to any well-dressed 
person wearing a sword. 


We will now pass to the clergy. It consists 
of two archbishops, four-and-twenty bishops, six- 
and-twenty deans, and a certain number of arch- 
deacons and canons in every cathedral and 
collegiate church, besides a quantity of rectors, 
vicars, and curates. When a bishop dies the 
dean and canons of his bishopric assemble to 
name his successor. Should the King have anyone 
he desires to recommend to the post, that person 
is always elected, the archbishop ratifies the choice, 
and he is confirmed and consecrated by his grand 
vicar, and invested by the archbishop of the 
diocese. All the clergy who attend the ceremony 
are dressed in long cassocks reaching to the 
ankles and fastened all the way down with small 
buttons, they are belted with wide sashes of silk, 
and over this they wear ample robes opening in 
front and having very wide sleeves. Their hats 
are much larger than those of laymen, not being 
looped, but trimmed with a thick, twisted cord, 
the two ends forming a big rose. Their bands 
are not wide. All the dignitaries of the church 
and the chaplains wear a long scarf of silk 
hanging over their shoulders, the two front parts 


falling to the hems of their robes. I need not 
add that these garments are black. 

A foreigner is surprised to find the clergy in 
public places, in taverns, and eating-houses, where 
they smoke and drink just like laymen ; but, as 
they scandalise no one, you quickly get accustomed 
to this sight. The greater number of the priests 
are stout and ruddy, and their comfortable appear- 
ance convinces you that they lead pleasant and not 
fatiguing lives. They pass for being rather lazy, 
and I do not know whether they are maligned,- 
though, to tell the truth, their sermons do not 
seem to give them much trouble, for they make 
them very short, and do not lose their time in 
learning them by heart ; they sink their addresses 
into a velvet cushion and glance at them from time 
to time, therefore you cannot either truthfully say 
that they do not learn them at all, and it is only 
justice to add that you sometimes hear most 
eloquent preachers whose sermons are touching 
and convincing, though simple and always short. 
I am quite certain that you would appreciate the 
manner of preaching English ministers have, for 
in the pulpit they are modest and sincere and 


have none of the transports and gesticulations that 
make preaching seem so exaggerated in France. 
English clergymen always pray with their heads 
uncovered, and I do not think anyone would 
venture to cover his head at any time in church. 
I cannot help approving this custom, for one can 
never show too much respect for religion. The 
clergy are permitted to possess two or three 
incumbencies, though they cannot live in them all 
at a time, and a vicar, to whom a small pension 
is paid, may officiate in their stead, which, to my 
mind, is not very canonical. Many clergymen have 
large revenues, and others possess scarcely any. 
I am told that in Wales, for instance, many livings 
only bring in from ;^I2 to ;^i5 sterling a year. 
Among the English clergy many first-class scholars 
are to be found, whose writings are sound and con- 
vincing, showing serious thought and very great 

Merchants come after the clergy, and in England 
commerce is not looked down upon as being de- 
rogatory, as it is in France and Germany. Here 
men of good family and even of rank may become 
merchants without losing caste. I have heard of 


younger sons of peers, whose families have been 
reduced to poverty through the habits of extra- 
vagance and dissipation of an elder son, retrieve 
the fallen fortunes of their house by becoming 
merchants and working energetically for several 

London is assuredly the greatest commercial 
city in the world, and her merchants have founded 
several powerful companies, the four principal 
being : Firstly, that of the East Indies, to which 
country money coined and in bullion is exported, 
and tea, china, silk, both raw and woven, cotton, 
linens, groceries, gems are sent to England in 
return. This company is extremely rich and 
powerful. Secondly, the South Sea Company, 
which, according to the treaty made with Spain, 
has the right to send two ships yearly to Spain or 
to Mexico. These ships, which are very large, 
are termed " Assiento," and carry merchandise 
from Europe, and in return bring money, woods 
for dyeing, leather, and various drugs from 
America, this commerce also bringing great gain 
to the company. The third is that of the Levant 
or Turkey, where clothes, groceries, lead, pewter. 


and clockwork are exchanged for silken tissues 
from Persia, and for coffee and drugs from Arabia. 
The fourth is the Africa Company, to which hemi- 
sphere merchandise of every sort is exported, 
especially ironmongery. Ivory, gold powder, and 
black slaves are given in exchange, the latter being 
conveyed to the American plantations. The two 
latter companies are not so powerful as formerly, 
the French having succeeded in obtaining part of 
the commerce. The laws of these four companies 
forbid any man to trade on his own account with 
the countries they themselves trade with. Should 
any private individual wish to trade with, for 
example, the Levant, he must first join the 

Besides these four principal trading companies, 
many others bring immense riches from every 
corner of the globe, and in London you find more 
merchants than in any other town of the world, 
excepting in those of Holland. Some merchants 
are certainly far wealthier than many sovereign 
princes of Germany and Italy. They live in great 
state ; their houses are richly furnished, their tables 
spread with delicacies ; they have servants and 


coaches, sometimes even two — one for the master 
of the house and one for the mistress. It is 
certain that you see in the City almost as many 
coaches belonging to merchants as to noblemen 
and gentlemen. One peculiarity of English mer- 
chants is that after obtaining wealth they are often 
satisfied to retire from business, and to live the 
quiet life of the English gentleman. You must 
not imagine, however, that all merchants are pros- 
perous ; the greater number are not, and live like 
ordinary citizens. You occasionally hear of bank- 
ruptcies, but on the whole less than one hears of in 
a town of our neighbourhood in Switzerland. 

English workmen are everywhere renowned, and 
that justly. They work to perfection, and though 
not inventive, are capable of improving and of 
finishing most admirably what the French and 
Germans have invented. English artisans excel 
in clockwork, in joiners' and carpenters' work, in 
saddlery, and in all sorts of iron and steel work, 
which they know how to polish in a superior 
manner. Their manufactures of cloth, of hats, and 
of hose are held in high repute on account of the 
beauty and quality of the merchandise, the ex- 


cellent wools of the country being the chief factor 
in this result. Louis XIV. did this country a good 
turn when he drove the Protestants away from 
his dominions, for a great number of these clever 
workmen sought refuge in this island and estab- 
lished several manufactories, and brought hats and 
hose to their present perfection. Work done in 
London is very expensive ; it is supposed to be 
better finished than that done in the country, and 
workmen are better paid, but most London artisans 
are debauched and drunkards, the greater part of 
their week's gain being spent on Sundays alone. 

As far as I can judge, English peasants are 
comfortably off. I am told that some of the 
farmers of Kent and other counties give their 
daughters when they marry dowries of three or 
four thousand pounds sterling. A farmer never 
travels from home except on horseback, this being 
the reason you see so many of them in London 
booted, spurred, and in riding coats. Carters 
coming in from the country ride their own horses, 
these not being harnessed to the carts. I have 
visited several farmers' homes in the country ; their 
houses are clean and well furnished with all neces- 


saries, and most of them possess silver spoons and 
mugs. They are all well fed and well dressed, 
and the coarse black bread our peasants eat is 
unknown to them. On Sundays they always have 
a good piece of beef before the fire, and all the 
year round a cask of ale in the cellar ; in a word, 
there is plenty everywhere. 

I must now say a word about the populace, and 
I have already complained of its arrogance and 
rude behaviour. It has no education and little 
fear of God. I am even persuaded that many of 
this class never go to church, and have no notion 
of religion, and are addicted to all manner of 
debauch. I am speaking of London ; in the 
country it is different. The lower classes are 
usually well dressed, and in England this is a 
sign of good feeding, for with this nation the 
table comes first ; and speaking of this, it will no 
doubt interest you to know something about the 

English people are large eaters ; they prefer 
meat to bread, some people scarcely touching the 
latter. The cooking is simple and uniform, stews 
are seldom served, and they do not roast or boil 


their meats as much as we do, which makes it, I 
think, more succulent and delicate, thereby giving 
it a better taste. Noblemen who have travelled 
generally have cooks from France, and eat partly 
in the foreign fashion, partly in the English, adding 
pastries and French garnishings to the roast meats 
and English puddings ; their tables are abundantly 
and magnificently spread, and the table linen is 
always very clean. 

The tables of most noblemen and of numerous 
gentlemen and merchants are not served in this 
sumptuous fashion, almost everyone being satisfied 
with a good big dish of meat weighing, according 
to the number of those who are to partake of it, 
ten, twelve, or fifteen pounds, though I have even 
seen it weigh twenty. Beef for boiling is salted 
for seven or eight days, and is then boiled in a 
quantity of water, and by this method the juice 
is kept in. English cooks make none or very 
little broth with beef, but they make it with mutton, 
which they boil with different vegetables, especially 
turnips and carrots, and they thicken the broth with 
gruel and eat it with snippets of toasted bread. 

A couple of dishes are generally added to the 


principal one of meat, one of these being a pud- 
ding made of rice, flour, or bread crumbs. This 
' is a very good dish, and I have never met with 
a foreigner who did not appreciate it. English 
people consume a great deal of butter, and they 
do not know how to prepare fish and vegetables 
except with this ingredient melted. I was sur- 
prised at their manner of roasting veal with butter; 
veal in this country being very fine and fat, all this 
grease does not seem very necessary. At every 
dessert cheese and butter is served. No vegetables 
are eaten except with meat, and then always put 
under the roast or boiled meat. You find an 
abundance of fresh and salt water fish in London ; 
the small oysters from Colchester are delicious, and 
appreciated even as far as Paris, to which town 
numbers are exported. An Englishman's table is 
remarkably clean, the linen is very white, the plate 
shines brightly, and knives and forks are changed 
surprisingly often, that is to say, every time a plate 
is removed. When everyone has done eating, the 
table is cleared, the cloth even being removed, and 
a bottle of wine with a glass for each guest is 
placed on the table. The King's health is first 


drunk, then that of the Prince of Wales, and finally 
that of all the Royal Family. After these toasts 
the women rise and leave the room, the men pay- 
ing them no attention or asking them to stay ; the 
men remain together for a longer or lesser time. 
This custom surprises foreigners, especially French- 
men, who are infinitely more polite with regard to 
women than are Englishmen ; but it is the custom, 
and one must submit. Dinner is taken at two or 
three o'clock, sometimes even later, and there is no 
supper. If you wish to eat or drink in the evening 
you can do so, but supper is not considered a 
necessary meal. In this respect I have not followed 
the English custom, and I must leave you now to 
go to supper. I am infinitely more than I can tell 


Death of George I , — Sir Robert Walpole breaks news to the Prince 
of Wales — King George II. arrives in London from Richmond 
—Proclamation — General mourning — About Mr. Chevalier, chief 
of French Calvinists — Amorous adventure. 

London, September 24, 1727 

It will be no news I am sure telling you that 
King George I. expired on June 22 last on his way 
to Hanover, but you will not have heard how the 
news was broken to the present reigning King. 
No doubt you are aware, like everyone else, that 
the Prince was at enmity with his father ; they 
rarely spoke to each other, and the Prince had been 
forced to leave the palace and rent a mansion for 
himself and family. Thinking that Sir Robert 
Walpole was the principal cause of this estrange- 
ment with his father, he had taken a great aversion 
to the minister, and for other reasons also, no doubt, 
too long to be related here. 



Anyhow, whatever the recisons, everyone was 
aware of the hatred of the Prince for Sir Robert 
Walpole, First Lord of the Exchequer, Treasurer, 
and favourite of the King. Sir Robert knew it too, 
and better than anyone, and he had not the slight- 
est doubt but that he would be disgraced and lose 
his office whenever the Prince came to the throne. 

Ten or twelve days after the King's departure, 
when everyone was expecting the news of his 
Majesty's arrival in Holland with impatience, for 
the winds had been contrary, Sir Robert Walpole, 
driving from his mansion of Chelsea into London, 
met a state messenger, whom he knew had been 
of the King's escort. Stopping this messenger, 
whom he did not doubt had returned to London 
bringing packets from the King and telling of 
His Majesty's safe arrival on Dutch shores, Sir 
Robert was much surprised when the messenger 
replied he had no packets either for the Regency 
or for the minister, but that he had a very par- 
ticular one for the Prince of Wales, from Lord 
Townshend, the King's Secretary of State, and 
that he was conveying this packet to the Prince 
at his residence of Richmond. 

I.— Q 


This piece of news greatly surprised Sir Robert 
Walpole, but his surprise increased when, after 
pressing the messenger to know what the news 
Lord Townshend wished conveyed to the Prince 
was, he discovered that the King had expired from 
an attack of apoplexy in his coach some miles' 
distance from Osnaburg. Without an instant's 
hesitation he asked for, and insisted on the mes- 
senger giving him, the letter. The latter began by 
refusing, but being personally acquainted with Sir 
Robert, and knowing him to be minister and Lord 
of the Regency, he finally yielded. Armed with 
the letter, and warning the messenger not to spread 
the news for a few hours, Sir Robert turned back to 
Chelsea, had six post horses put to his coach, and 
drove rapidly to Richmond. 

The Prince and Princess were having their mid- 
day rest, the weather being sultry. The lady-in- 
waiting refused to waken them, though Sir Robert 
declared he wished to inform them at once on a 
matter of the highest importance. The lady, after 
much hesitation, yielded. The Prince of Wales was 
greatly surprised at Sir Robert Walpole's desire to 
speak to him. Being very hasty, he sent back word 


to the effect that he considered the minister very 
bold and impertinent at daring to come into his 
house and disturb him, and that he might go away 
again, for he would not see him. Sir Robert con- 
tinued pressing to be permitted a few minutes' 
interview, just sufficient to communicate very im- 
portant news, and as the Prince's room was 
adjoining and the door a little ajar, the Prince 
heard this answer, which put him into such a state 
of fury that he was on the point of rising to throw 
Sir Robert out of the room, when the Princess, 
who possesses many qualities and amongst them 
prudence, quieted her husband by telling him that 
undoubtedly there must be news of importance, and 
with some difficulty she obtained the Prince's per- 
mission to join Sir Robert in the next room. 

Sir Robert, addressing the Princess, said, " Madam, 
I am in despair that His Royal Highness will not 
permit me to be the first of his subjects to do him 
homage. I have brought a letter, acquainting him 
with the death of His Majesty the King, his 
father." The Prince, who was listening from his 
apartment as to what the message might be, heard, 
and entering the room with looks of fury demanded 


the letter. Sir Robert threw himself at the Prince's 
feet, and offering the letter made a touching little 
speech, and you must know that he is very eloquent, 
and one of the best talkers in the kingdom. The 
Prince and Princess retired into their apartments, 
and after consulting together for a few minutes they 
reappeared, their eyes wet with tears. The Prince, 
addressing Sir Robert, ordered him to proceed 
speedily to London, and there to call together the 
Lords of the Regency and Kingdom, to be at the 
Council Chamber, together with Sir Spencer 
Compton, at such and such an hour, but that he was 
to tell the latter to visit the Duke of Devonshire 
previously, in order to compose, with his help, the 
speech that must be read to the Regency. Sir 
Spencer Compton was Speaker and President of 
the House of Commons, and being attached to the 
Prince's party, was consequently opposed to the 
late King's ministers. 

Several Lords of the Regency, together with 
Sir Robert Walpole, met together at the Duke of 
Devonshire's. As soon as they learnt that the 
Prince, or rather the new King, had chosen Sir 
Spencer Compton to write his speech, and had 


ordered him to join the council, they never doubted 
for an instant but that he was going to be raised 
to some high office, and apparently on Sir Robert 
Walpole's ruins. Sir Spencer Compton took up a 
pen and put it down again several times, but he 
was finally forced to own that it was useless his at- 
tempting to write a speech, for he was quite over- 
come with excitement and emotion, and could not 
compose it successfully. Turning to Sir Robert 
Walpole, he begged him to be kind enough to help 
him, and the latter, having wonderful presence of 
mind and nerves of iron, composed a most eloquent 
speech, in which he successfully inserted a very 
delicate and appreciative allusion to the conduct 
and administration of the late King's ministers. 

King George II. and Queen Caroline, his wife, 
arrived in London at about six in the evening. 
Crowds of people acclaimed them, and they alighted 
at the Palace of St. James, where they were met 
by numerous lords and ladies who were waiting for 
them, and who paid them homage on their knees 
and kissed their hands. The King proceeded to 
the Council of Regency, where, after examining 
and approving the harangue, he read it, and then 


broke up the Council, which had no more authority, 
as he himself was taking up the reins of government. 

For some time everyone expected that Sir 
Robert Walpole would be disgraced. The King 
treated him very coldly, and even gave him to 
understand that he did not intend keeping him in 
office, and this treatment contrasted with the King's 
graciousness towards Sir Spencer Compton and 
other favoured noblemen. But the latter counted 
too much on His Majesty's goodwill, and did not 
sufficiently flatter the Queen, or try to get her 
interest ; and during that time Sir Robert Walpole, 
bringing his wonderful influence to bear, and 
treating the Queen with the greatest courtesy and 
amiability, gradually but entirely gained her over 
to his cause. 

The Queen, who is a very capable woman and 
has much influence over the King, managed little 
by little to make him believe that he could not find 
a more capable man in the whole kingdom or one 
who knew more about finances and the affairs of 
the interior than Sir Robert Walpole (and she was 
right), that he could be counted on in any emer- 
gency, having great influence everywhere, and that 


he had been the factor in the late king's reign for 
bringing money into empty chests, and that no 
doubt he could do the same for the new king. 
This last reason — at least it is said — decided the 
King on retaining Sir Robert Walpole's services, 
and he declared the same, much to everyone's 
satisfaction, a few days ago in the Privy Council. 
Those who had neglected paying sufficient court 
to the Queen were much mortified and dis- 
appointed, but it is supposed that Sir Spencer 
Compton will be made a peer of the realm and 
given some high office. 

The day following the news of George I.'s death, 
a proclamation was read in the two towns of West- 
minster and London. It was done in this fashion : 
First appeared a company of Grenadiers on horse- 
back, with their officers at their head, and a band 
of musicians with hautboys, fife, bassoon, and 
trumpets. Four Heralds -at -arms followed, mag- 
nificently mounted and clad in their coat -armour, 
a sort of overcoat on which the arms of England 
are stamped in colours. These four heralds fol- 
lowed each other in single file, and on either side 
of them rode a sergeant-at-arms, or mace-bearer. 


wearing a silver collar, in shape like an interlaced 
double-S. Eight men on foot carried the silver- 
gilt mace on their shoulders, and walked next to 
the sergeant-at-arms. The march was closed by 
a company of Horse Guards, preceded by its 
ofhcers and by its kettledrums and trumpets. 
Stopping in front of St. James's Palace, the first 
herald read a long declaration informing the people 
of the death of George I., King of Great Britain, 
France, and Ireland, and of the accession of his 
only son, King George II., to his kingdom and 
states. The second herald read the same procla- 
mation at Charing Cross, the third read it 'at 
Temple Bar after the ceremony of the opening 
of the doors which I have previously described, 
and the fourth at the Stock Exchange. 

On the following Sunday a reception was held 
at the Court of St. James, the drawing-room or 
circle being crowded. The greater number of those 
persons who held any office at Court, in the army 
or fleet, paid homage to the King, kneeling and 
kissing his hand. 

Everyone is in deep mourning ; the King wears 
his of purple cloth, with knots of cr^pe on the 


sleeves. The nobles, gentlemen, officers, mer- 
chants, and citizens are in mourning ; so are the 
women. One would think everyone was mourning 
a father or mother. A well-dressed man wearing a 
sword could not venture to go into any public place 
dressed in colour ; he would be insulted. 

An amusing little story is related, and owes its 
origin to the universal mourning. I meet every 
now and then the famous Mr. Chevalier, head of 
the French Calvinists in the Cevennes, and whose 
name is constantly mentioned in Madame du 
Noyers' memoirs and in some other printed works. 
Mr. Chevalier sometimes takes his meals in our 
tavern and frequents the same coffee-house as my 
friends and I do. He is a little man of no import- 
ance to look at, but very capable and clever. He 
must be so, for in the Cevennes with the Calvinists 
he began his career as cook and ended by being 
colonel. He now commands a regiment in Ireland, 
and, though no longer young, he married a rather 
pretty Irish girl a few years ago. 

Some days previous to the King's demise Mr. 
Chevalier received the news of his wife's death 
from Ireland, and appeared at our coffee-house 


garbed in deep mourning. On someone's inquiring 
for whom he wore black, " For my wife," answered 
he, but with such a way and look as if to make 
us believe he was not inconsolable. A few days 
later, when general mourning was ordered, he was 
asked once more for whom he wore his. " For 
his late Majesty," was the angry answer ; " for 
whom else should I wear it .'' " And in truth it 
could not be for his wife, for she was not dead, as 
he had at first supposed, but had run away and 
was in France with a young Irish nobleman, whom 
she had preferred to her husband. The indis- 
creet questioner had heard of this little adventure, 
which soon became public property, and poor Mr. 
Chevalier, not being able to stand the jokes that 
were levied at him, returned to his Irish regiment. 

Adventures of this kind sometimes occur. In my 
last letter I told you that English women have 
tender hearts and strong passions, and are capable 
of important decisions when carried away by them. 

A young man of my acquaintance, whom I shall 
call Mr. Brisk — good-looking, amiable, and attract- 
ive — met with a pleasing adventure a few months 
ago, which I will relate to you. 


One day, on his way to Hanover Square and 
passing through the meadows near Montague 
House, he met a very pretty lady, well dressed, 
with a beautiful figure, seeming about five-and- 
twenty years of age. Surprised at seeing such a 
charming apparition alone in an out-of-the-way 
place, Mr. Brisk accosted her, and politely asked 
to be permitted to accompany her to her destina- 
tion, lest she should be insulted by some rude 
person. The lady began by hesitating, and then 
accepted my gallant friend's offer, and he amused 
her so well on the way with his witty and lively 
conversation that, when they reached Hanover 
Square and did not find her friend at home, she 
allowed him to accompany her to Golden Square, 
where she hoped to find another acquaintance ; but 
this time again the visit was unsuccessful, and as 
rain was beginning to fall, Mr. Brisk tried to help 
his new friend by proposing to hail a hackney coach 
or a sedan-chair, but it was impossible to find 
one. The lady by this time was very weary, and 
accepted Mr. Brisk's offer of going into a tavern 
and partaking of some refreshment, of waiting 
there till the rain was over, or a chair could be 


found. Pray, do not be shocked. Ladies even of 
rank will sometimes go into a tavern, and the fair 
dame I am writing of requiring no persuasion, 
accepted her cavalier's offer, and was treated by 
him to the best the innkeeper could give. When 
he saw that she was becoming to get rather gay 
and familiar, he pressed her to tell him her name, 
and to allow him to see her again and to accord 
him her favour. The lady refused very firmly at 
first, but when the chair arrived and they were 
going to separate, she said, " I must own, sir, that 
the time has passed most agreeably in your company, 
and that you are quite to my taste. I promise to 
write to you, if after I have made inquiries I find 
that you are worthy of my friendship. Give me your 
address and trust me." With that they separated. 
Ten days or so later Mr. Brisk received by the 
penny post a letter from the unknown lady, written 
in a counterfeit hand, in which she told him that 
if he wished to see her again he must go on a 
certain day and hour to a house which she described 
in an out-of-the-way part of London. Mr. Brisk, 
having had time for reflection, was not tempted to 
follow out the adventure, either because of his 


morals, or because his affections were otherwise 
placed. He recounted his little adventure in the 
tavern he habitually frequented, and declared he did 
not intend going to the appointed meeting. One 
of his friends, who was bolder or less scrupulous, 
asked to be allowed to go in his place, and armed 
with the letter this gallant personage did not fail 
the appointed time and hour. But as soon as he 
entered the room the lady fell into a swoon, 
exclaiming, "Heavens! I am betrayed!" The bold 
visitor on his side nearly did the same when he 
discovered the fair lady was his own wife. The 
singular part of the story is that they left the house 
perfectly satisfied with each other, whereas before 
the involuntary meeting they had not lived together 
for many months. 

Do not suppose, my dear friends, by what I have 
just related that all English women are of this 
profligate nature; you would be harming numbers 
who are most virtuous and modest. I know many 
of whom nothing but good can be said. I am, 
besides, quite convinced that if Englishmen were 
less debauched and more attached to their wives, 
the latter would be happier in their homes. I do 


not suppose you hear of more love stories here 
than in Paris or other large towns, where morals 
are laxer than in small ones. I hope these irregu- 
larities will never occur in our own dear country. 
But I am much afraid that good faith, simplicity, 
and fidelity will in time become as rare as they 
were frequent, and that the strangers who travel 
will do more harm than good by bringing gold and 
silver and also tastes for luxury into our land. 
I am and always will be as long as I live. 


Coronation of King George II. — Solemn procession — Ceremonials 
of tfhe coronation — Return of the procession— Feast after the 
coronation — Illumination of the hall — The author takes part in 
the feast — The King's Champion — The tables are given up to the 
people — Prerogatives of peers, etc., on the day of the coronation 
— Lord Mayor's feast. 

I HAVE often longed to have you with me, but 
never more so than on the eleventh of [May last, 
for I then saw the most solemn, magnificent, and 
sumptuous ceremony it is anyone's lot in life to 
witness ; I mean the coronation of King George H. 
and of Queen Caroline, his spouse. I know only 
too well that it will be quite impossible for me to 
give you a correct impression of the extraordinary 
and magnificent riches I saw on this occasion, but 
as I know that you wish me to write and describe 
all the eventful and curious sights I see during my 
travels, I will relate it to you to the best of my 



For two or three days before the coronation 
numbers of carpenters had been working at erect- 
ing a footstool or wooden bridge about three feet 
in height and edged with wooden railings ; this 
bridge commenced at the chief entrance of West- 
minster Hall, all along New Palace Yard, King's 
Street, St. Margaret's Churchyard, and ended at 
the western porch of Westminster Abbey. On 
every side of this bridge, wherever the space 
allowed it, stands and platforms had been erected 
for the use of spectators. 

On the day preceding the coronation, I had been 
with two friends to choose our seats on a stand 
situated in New Palace Yard. On the nth of 
May,j at four in the morning, we started from 
home, but even at that early hour we experienced 
considerable difficulty in getting to the stand 
because of the enormous crowds of people that 
already filled the streets, passages, and even the 
stands. At seven o'clock several companies of 
Foot Guards appeared and took up their position 
on either side of the bridge. Two regiments of 
Horse Guards guarded the square, the churchyard, 
and bridge, the latter being shortly afterwards con- 

/p/- ///,■ 6rm,i//,// /■//ii.i //////. i7i//M?/a'/yf d,-/'<rm/ri/,,KJmr7/. 6au>////c. 


Designed by W. Kent, and erected at the West End of Westminster Hail for tlie Coronation of 

King George II., October iitti, 1727, with the Entry of the King's Champion. 


[To face page 240. 


cealed by blue cloth. The bridge was so wide, it 
required three widths of cloth to conceal it. 

At about nine o'clock the procession or solemn 
march began in the following manner : — 

1. The King's herb-strewer, followed by eight 
maidens carrying four baskets filled with flowers 
and sweet-smelling herbs, with which they be- 
strewed the bridge or footstool. 

2. The beadle of the Dean of Westminster, 
with a blue cloak hanging from his shoulders and 
carrying a thick black staff in his hand. 

3. The drum-major, followed by twelve drum- 
mers of the Foot Guards. 

4. A kettle-drummer and several trumpeters of 
the Horse Guards wearing their uniforms of crim- 
son velvet, braided on the seams and on the coat 
tails with wide gold braidings. 

5. The six Clerks of Chancery in robes of black 
satin brocaded with flowers, trimmed with tuftings 
of black silk on the sleeves. They walked by 
three and three together. 

6. The vestry-keeper of the Royal Chapel, 
followed by the King's twelve chaplains, all clad 


in long scarlet robes bordered with ermine, and 
wearing stoles of black silk and carrying square 
caps in their hands. 

7. The Sheriffs of London and Middlesex, 
followed by the Aldermen and Recorder of 
London dressed in their scarlet robes of cere- 
mony. Those aldermen who had been Lord 
Mayors wore the gold chain of office hanging 
down to their belts. 

8. The Masters of the Court of Chancery, the 
Solicitor-General, the King's Proctor, the Attorney- 
General, all wearing scarlet robes, but differing 
according to their offices. 

9. The King's Gentlemen-in-waiting. 

10. The Barons and Judges of the Exchequer 
and the Judges of the King's Bench in robes of 
scarlet bordered with ermine, and carrying scarlet 
caps in their hands. 

[N.B. — All the persons I have mentioned and 
all those that followed walked four and four when- 
ever they were numerous enough. All peers and 
peeresses and the councillors of the King's Council 
walked two and two.J 

11. The Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer 


and the Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, 
in robes of scarlet bordered with ermine and inter- 
laced silver-gilt collars forming a double S. 

12. The Master of the Rolls and the Lord Chief 
Justice of the King's Bench, clad like the preceding, 
with the same collars of gilded silver. 

13. The choir boys of the Abbey of Westminster 
in surplices of white linen, and with square caps in 
their hands. 

14. The dean and subdean of the Chapel Royal 
in scarlet robes, but of a different fashion to those 
of the lawyers, and carrying square caps in their 

15. The choir boys of the Chapel Royal in 
surplices of fine white linen, and wearing over 
these cloaks of scarlet cloth ; they carried square 
caps in their hands. 

16. The organist of the Chapel of Westminster, 
followed by a band of musicians with hautboys, 
fifes, bassoons, bugles, and other instruments. 

17. The twelve prebendaries or canons of West- 
minster in surplices and copes of white silk brocaded 
with large flowers of various colours, and holding 
square caps in their hands. 


1 8. The Herald-at-arms of the Knights of the 

19. The Knights of the Bath who are not 
peers, wearing the dress and collar of their order, 
and carrying their caps surmounted by white ostrich 
plumes in their hands. 

20. The first Scottish Herald-at-arms, or Lord 

21. A Knight of the Thistle, which is a Scotch 
order, clad after the manner of the Knights of the 
Bath, but his cloak was of green velvet, lined with 
flame-coloured satin, his cap was surmounted with 
handsome green ostrich plumes, and he wore the 
collar of his order. 

22. The first Herald-at-arms of England, or 
Lord Garter, dressed in his dalmatic or coat 
armour of blue silk, on which the arms of 
England are stamped in colours. 

23. Sir Robert Walpole, the only Knight of the 
Garter who is not noble ; he was clothed in the robes 
of this order. His mantle and cap were of blue 
velvet, the latter laden with tall flame-coloured 
ostrich plumes ; the lining of his mantle, his jacket, 
and his breeches were all of flame-coloured satia 


His hose and shoes were white. He wore a belt 
of blue velvet over his jacket, to which a large 
gold sword of ancient workmanship was suspended. 
The collar of the order was round his neck, and 
the blue garter embroidered with pearls was tied 
round his left leg. 

24. The Vice- Chamberlain, followed by the 
Controller of Accounts and by the Treasurer of 
the King's Household, all three wearing their 
habitual clothes, but of great magnificence. 

25. Those of the King's Councillors of Great 
Britain who are not peers, walking two and two. 

26. Two Kings-at-arms in their dalmatics of 
blue silk. 

27. The baronesses walking two and two as did 
the peers and peeresses. They wore their robes 
of state, and I must describe them to you. On 
their heads were neither caps nor coverings of 
any sort. Their hair was dressed in long, thick 
curls falling on their shoulders, and they wore 
quaintly - fashioned garments, called kirtles, of 
crimson velvet, lined with white satin and trimmed 
with gre^n silk cut out in the shape of flames, 
edged with a silver fringe. These kirtles were 


fastened at the waist by jewelled clasps, and were 
widely cut out round the neck and chest so as 
not to conceal the front part of the bodice, which 
was embroidered with gems and precious stones. 
The lower part of the gown likewise was exposed 
to view, being composed of beautiful silver cloth 
brocaded with flowers of various colours. Over 
these kirtles were worn cloaks of crimson velvet 
hanging from the shoulders, lined with white satin, 
and trimmed with flames of green silk, and with 
capes bordered with two bands of ermine and 
lined with green silk. The trains of these cloaks 
hung three feet on the ground, and they were 
fastened over the shoulders by thick cords of 
silver, which ended below the waist with heavy 
silver tassels. The baronesses carried their 
coronets in their hands ; these were very small, 
being made to fit at the back of the head, and 
were of crimson velvet surmounted with a silver 
tuft and edged with a circlet of the same precious 
metal and by six large pearls, after the manner of 
barons' crowns. 

28. The barons in their robes of state, their 
kirtles being of crimson velvet lined with white 


satin, and bordered with cut green silk in the 
shape of flames. These kirdes fell below the 
knee, and were faced and bordered with green 
silk and silver fringe. Over these they wore wide 
belts of white velvet, to which swords of ancient 
workmanship were suspended, the scabbards being 
of crimson velvet. From their shoulders hung 
cloaks of crimson velvet lined with white satin 
and bordered with the green flames, the capes 
being lined with green silk and bordered with 
two bands of ermine, and fastened on the 
shoulders with thick silver cords tasselled at 
either end ; these cloaks fell down to their heels. 
The barons all wore white hose, likewise did 
all the other peers, and they carried coronets 
in their hands just like those of the baronesses, 
except that they were much larger and fitted on 
the head. 

29. The bishops, all excepting those who carried 
the regalia or royal ornaments. They wore their 
rochets and big cloaks and copes. All their gar- 
ments were of silver cloth, brocaded with flowers 
of divers colours, and in their hands they carried 
mitres of the same cloth of silver. 


30. Two Kings-at-arms as before. 

31. The viscountesses dressed like the baron- 
esses. Their trains were three and a half feet in 
length, their capes bordered with three bands of 
ermine, and their coronets were those of viscount- 

32. The viscounts clad like the barons, but their 
cloaks hung half a foot on the ground, and their 
capes were trimmed with three bands of ermine, 
their coronets being those of viscounts. 

33. Two Heralds-at-arms in their dalmatics of 
blue silk and wearing silver-gilt collars. 

34. The countesses dressed in their robes of 
state after the fashion of the baronesses, except 
that their cloaks trained four feet on the ground, 
and that their capes were bordered with four rows 
of ermine. The fringes, cords, and tassels of their 
cloaks, and the big tuft on their coronets, were 
all of gold. Their skirts were of cloth of gold, 
brocaded with flowers and leaves in various colours. 

35. The earls, all excepting those who carried 
the regalia, in their robes of state fashioned like 
those of the barons, except that their cloaks hung 
one foot on the ground, and that the coronets they 


carried were earls' coronets. The peers, Knights 
of the Garter, of the Thistle, of the Bath, wore 
their gold chains round their shoulders and the 
stars of their order embroidered on their cloaks. 

36. Two Heralds-at-arms as before. 

37. The marchionesses in their robes of state. 
Their trains were four and a half feet in length, 
and their hoods were bordered with five bands 
of ermine. Their coronets were the coronets of 

38. The marquesses in their robes of state like 
those of the earls, their cloaks trained one foot and 
a half on the ground. Their hoods were bordered 
with five bands of ermine, and their coronets were 
the coronets of marquesses. 

39. Two Heralds-at-arms as before. 

40. The duchesses in their robes of state like 
those of the countesses, save that the trains of their 
cloaks were five feet in length, and that their capes 
were bordered with six bands of ermine. 

When the duchesses were in front of our seats 
the procession was for a time brought to a stop. 
The Dowager Duchess of Marlborough took a 
drum from a drummer and seated herself on it. 


The crowd laughed and shouted at seeing the wife 
of the great and celebrated General Duke of Marl- 
borough, more than seventy years of age, seated on 
a drum in her robes of state and in such a solemn 

41. The dukes, all excepting those who carried 
the regalia, or who filled some other important 
office. They wore robes of state like those of the 
earls, save that their cloaks trailed two feet on the 
ground, and that their capes were bordered with six 
bands of ermine and that they carried ducal coronets. 

42. The Duke of Grafton, Lord Chamberlain of 
the King's Household, walked alone at the head of 
the other dukes. He wore his robes of state, and 
carried his ducal coronet in one hand and his long 
white wand of office in the other. 

43. The first King-at-arms of England. On his 
right hand walked the Scottish King-at-arms, and 
on his left the Irish King-at-arms ; they all wore 
dalmatics and characteristic marks of office, and 
carried their coronets in their hands. 

44. The Duke of Devonshire, President of the 
Council, and Lord Trevor, Keeper of the Privy 
Seal, in their robes of state. 


45. Lord King, the Lord Chancellor, in his 
robes of state, carrying his coronet in one hand 
and the big purse or pocket containing the Grand 
Seal in the other. The Lord Archbishop of York 
in his rochet and cloak of gold cloth, carrying his 
Archbishop's mitre of the same cloth in his hand. 

46. The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury walking 
alone in his robes fashioned like those of the Arch- 
bishop of York. 

47. Colonel Lambert, representing the Duke of 
Normandy, and Sir George Walter, representing 
the Duke of Aquitaine. They were dressed in the 
same fashion as the other dukes, except that their 
cloaks were bordered with ermine, and that they 
carried a sort of old-fashioned hat made of cloth 
of gold, with drooping brims and lined with ermine. 

48. The Queen's Vice-Chamberlain in rich cloth- 
ing, the key of his office embroidered in gold on the 
left side of his coat. 

49. Two gentlemen ushers. 

50. The Queen's Lord Chamberlain, the Earl 
of Grantham, in his robes of state, fashioned like 
those of the other earls. 

51. The Duke of St. Albans carrying the 


Queen's state crown of purple velvet enriched 
with magnificent jewels ; this crown reposed on a 
crimson velvet cushion braided and fringed with 
gold. On his right walked the Duke of Rutland 
carrying the gold sceptre with the cross, and on 
his left walked the Duke of Norfolk carrying the 
ivory sceptre with the dove. These three nobles 
were in robes of state. 

52. The Queen in her royal robes, fashioned 
like those of the peeresses ; they were of purple 
velvet bordered and lined with ermine, and with 
wide gold braidings. The skirt of her robe was 
of gold and silver tissue, brocaded with large 
bunches of different - coloured flowers, enriched 
with a quantity of beautiful jewels. On her head 
was a small state cap of crimson velvet with a 
circlet of gold and border of ermine. She was 
supported on either side by the Bishop of London 
and the Bishop of Westminster, wearing rochets 
and cloaks of silver cloth. 

53. A canopy of cloth-of-gold ornamented with 
balls and little bells of gold or silver-gilt. This 
magnificent canopy supported by four staves of 
gold was carried over the Queen's head by the 


Barons of the Cinque Ports and by the Gentlemen 
Pensioners. The latter wore new scarlet uniforms 
with braidings of gold. 

54. The train of the Queen's royal mantle 
carried by the three elder princesses, Anne, Amelia, 
and Elizabeth,* who were aided in their office by the 
eldest daughters of three dukes. The princesses 
were dressed after the manner of the duchesses, 
and the young Ladies wore rich costumes. 

55. The three eldest sons of dukes, magnificently 
attired, carrying the three young princesses' crowns. 

56. The Duchess of Dorset, first Lady of the 
Bedchamber to the Queen, in robes of state. 

57. The ladies Herbert and Howard, women of 
the bedchamber. 

58. The Earl of Crawford bearing St. Edward's 
staff, which is of massive and beaten gold and 
the emblem of authority. On his right walked 
the Earl of Lincoln, bearing the sceptre with the 
dove, which is the emblem of peace, and on his 
left the Earl of Pembroke, bearing the golden 
spurs which are buckled to the King's feet in the 
ceremony of the coronation. These three lords 
wore their robes of state. 

* See page 47. 


59. The Duke of Montague, bearing the curtana, 
or sword of St. Edward, which, having no point, 
is the emblem of mercy. On his right walked the 
Duke of Kent, bearing the second sword ; and on 
his left the Duke of Manchester, bearing the third. 
These two latter swords are the emblem of spiritual 
and temporal power. 

60. The Lord Mayor of London, in robes of 
crimson velvet, lined with ermine, but differently 
fashioned to those of the peers. His thick chain 
of gold fell below his waist. 

61. The Duke of Ancaster, Lord High Cham- 
berlain of England, in his robes of state, carrying 
his coronet in one hand and a long white wand in 
the other, this being his mark of office. 

62. The Duke of Richmond, named for that 
day Grand Constable of England. He carried his 
coronet in one hand and his wand of office in 
the other. On his right walked the Duke of 
Roxborough, deputy for the Grand Constable of 
Scotland. He also carried his coronet in one hand 
and his staff of office in the other. On the left 
walked the Earl of Sussex, representative of the 
Duke of Norfolk, Lord Grand Marshal of England, 


who, being a Roman Catholic, cannot officiate. He 
carried a coronet in one hand and a marshal's staff 
in the other. 

63. The Earl of Huntingdon, bearing the sword 
of state in its scabbard of crimson velvet, enriched 
with slabs of wrought gold, hilt and guard being 
of massive gold, enriched with precious jewels. 

64. The Duke of Dorset, bearing St. Edward's 
crown of purple velvet, enriched with the finest 
jewels of^the realm, on a crimson and gold-fringed 
cushion. On his right walked the Duke of 
Somerset, bearing the gold sceptre with the cross 
surmounted by a jewel of great value ; and on his 
left the Duke of Argyle, bearing the orb, or globe, 
which I described some time ago, after visiting the 
Tower. These peers also wore robes of state and 
carried coronets in their hands. 

65. The Bishop of Coventry, bearing a Bible 
on a gold-fringed crimson cushion. On his right 
walked the Bishop of Rochester with the patena, 
and on his left the Bishop of Peterborough with 
the chalice, which, like the patena, is of pure gold. 
These three bishops wore cloaks, rochets, and 
copes of silver cloth. 


66. The King, in his royal robes of purple 
velvet, lined and bordered with ermine. On his 
head was a cap of crimson velvet, with a gold 
circlet and border of ermine. This cap was too 
large, and kept falling over his eyes. His Majesty 
was supported by the Bishops of Durham and 
St. Asaph in cloaks, rochets, and copes of silver 

67. A canopy of cloth-of-gold, like that borne 
over the Queen's head. 

68. The train of the Royal mantle, carried by 
four dukes' eldest sons, most richly and magnifi- 
cently dressed. 

69. The Captain of the Guard on service that 
day, having on his right the Captain of the Guard 
of the Gentlemen Pensioners ; and on his left the 
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard. These 
three gentlemen being noble wore robes of state, 
and carried their coronets in one hand and their 
staves in the other. The Lieutenant and Standard- 
bearer of the Gentlemen Pensioners walked on 
their right and left. 

70. The Earl of Essex, first Gentleman of the 
King's Bedchamber, in his robes of state. 


71. Three of the King's footmen in their 
ordinary clothes. 

72. The procession was finally closed by a 
detachment of yeomen or battle-axe guards, carry- 
ing battle-axes on their shoulders, and having their 
lieutenant and ensign at their head. 

It is impossible for me to make you understand 
and imagine the pomp and magnificence of this 
solemn procession, which took more than two hours 
to pass before us. Everything in it was grand 
and sumptuous. Persons of an advanced age, who 
have seen the coronations of King James II., of 
William III. and Mary, of Queen Anne, and of 
King George I., are all agreed that the magnifi- 
cence of the present coronation has far surpassed 
that of the preceding. 

What embellished this ceremony greatly was the 
magnificence of the jewels. The peeresses were 
covered with them, and wore them in great quanti- 
ties on the fronts of their bodices, in their hair, 
as clasps for fastening their robes and cloaks, with- 
out counting their necklaces, earrings, and rings. 
Most of these ladies had the worth of a large 
sum on their persons, and many had hired jewels 
I.— s 


for the day. It is said that the London jewellers, 
not having gems in sufficient quantity, had sent for 
some from Paris and Holland. The skirt of the 
Queen's robe was so much embroidered with jewels 
that it threw out a surprising radiance, and she 
next day declared what had fatigued her most was 
the weight of this skirt. You must not expect me 
to describe to you the ceremony in the church of 
the Abbey of Westminster, for I did not witness it. 
I can only tell you that the ceremony commenced 
by divine service ; that the Bishop of London 
preached a fine and suitable sermon, that was 
followed by a communion service ; that the King 
took the oath that he would protect the rights and 
privileges of the nation ; that the Archbishop of 
Canterbury anointed the King and Queen on their 
heads, foreheads, chests, and on the palms of their 
hands with a prepared essence or oil, and that at the 
precise minute he placed their crowns on their heads 
volleys of cannon and musketry were fired, and 
that as soon as the King was crowned and seated 
on his magnificent throne, all the lords, both 
spiritual and temporal, the members of the Lower 
and of the Upper Houses of Parliament, the Lord 


Mayor, the Aldermen of London, etc., took the 
oath of fideHty. During the whole ceremony a 
band of the most skilful musicians, together with the 
finest voices in England, sung admirable symphonies, 
conducted by the celebrated Mr. Handel, who had 
composed the Litany. Henry VII. 's Chapel, in 
which the Queen and King were crowned, was 
entirely hung with crimson velvet. The throne 
was of purple velvet, fringed and ornamented with 
wide braidings of gold. Sir Robert Walpole, as 
First Lord of the Exchequer, presented all the 
peers and peeresses with a gold medal, of the value 
of four guineas, on one side being engraved the 
heads of the King and Queen, on the other the 
ceremony of the coronation. 

It was near three o'clock in the afternoon when 
the ceremonies were ended and the procession 
was ready to return to the great Hall of West- 
minster. The Knights of the Bath, of the Thisde 
and of the Garter wore their caps laden with 
waving ostrich plumes, for everyone donned their 
head coverings for the return procession, and the 
effect was charming. Sir Robert Walpole had on 
either side of him a person carrying a red morocco 


bag, filled with silver coins, stamped with the 
sovereign's efiigies ; these the knight threw right 
and left among the numerous spectators on the 
stands or at the windows. The peers and peeresses 
wore their coronets, the King and Queen those 
with which they had. been crowned ; the King 
carried the gold sceptre with the cross in his right 
hand and the orb in his left ; the Queen carried 
another sceptre with a cross in her right hand, 
and the ivory rod with the dove in her left. The 
Yeomen of the Guard had scarcely closed the pro- 
cession before the crowd and the soldiers of the 
Foot Guards posted along the railings of the bridge 
tore off the blue cloth with which it was covered, 
and fought for it and the boards as to who should 
get the most ; and all this made a terrible tumult 
and disorder most amusing for the spectators to 
watch, at least for those who were on the stands 
and at the windows. But I did not have the plea- 
sure of witnessing this scene. Lord Lindsay (the 
son of the Duke of Ancaster, who is Grand Cham- 
berlain of England) had had the kindness to provide 
me with a ticket allowing me to enter the great 
Hall of Westminster, and I got there some time 


before the procession arrived. This hall was pre- 
pared for the coronation banquet. At one end a 
sort of stand, three or four feet in height, had 
been raised, on which the thrones and tables for the 
King and Queen were placed. All along the hall 
were two long tables for the peers and peeresses. 
On either side of the hall raised galleries had been 
erected, which were filled with spectators. I took 
a seat on one of the galleries, and from there had 
an excellent view of the hall. More than three 
hundred persons could be seated at the long tables. 
The damask linen was entirely new, as were also 
the plates and dishes of Cornwall pewter and china. 
The tables were covered with a sumptuous and 
magnificent meal, and as they were narrow, sorts 
of storeys had been raised on them. The first 
storey or table itself was covered with hot meats, 
the second storey with cold roast meats, and on 
the third and narrowest the dessert was arranged 
with much taste and symmetry. It consisted of 
magnificent pyramids of sweetmeats and preserved 
fruits of every variety and kind, arranged in 
different patterns and ornamented with a quantity 
of tinsel flowers, and the effect of the whole when 


the peers and peeresses took their seats, all dressed 
as they were in robes of state with coronets on 
their heads, was enchanting. The other persons in 
the procession, after crossing the hall, went into 
other apartments, where tables had also been pre- 
pared for them. When the King and Queen 
entered the hall the light was beginning to fade. 
About forty chandeliers, in shape like a crown, 
hung from the ceiling, each carrying about thirty- 
six wax candles. On the King's appearance all 
these candles were suddenly lighted, and everyone 
in the room was filled with astonishment at the 
wonderful and unexpected illumination. Little cords 
of cotton-wool, almost imperceptible to the eye, 
saturated with sulphur of saltpetre, with spirits of 
wine, and other ingredients, had been prepared 
and arranged so as to carry the flame rapidly from 
one candle to another. This arrangement had 
been so skilfully prepared that hardly a single 
candle failed to take fire. The King seated him- 
self on his throne, the Queen on hers, and were 
at once waited on by the grand officers of the 
Crown. The three young princesses sat with their 
parents, but at a certain distance. 


It was now close on six o'clock. I had eaten 
nothing all day, and I was famished, and I felt all 
the more hungry when I contemplated the tempting 
viands on the tables. But my turn was coming to 
taste these delicacies. I was seated behind several 
ladies and gentlemen who were acquainted with 
some of the peers and peeresses seated at the table 
beneath us. When we saw that they had finished 
eating we let down a small rope, which, to tell the 
truth, we had made up by knotting our garters 
together. The peers beneath were kind enough 
to attach a napkin filled with food to our rope, 
which we then hauled up, and in this way got plenty 
of good things to eat and drink. This napkin took 
several journeys up and down, and we were not the 
only people who had had this idea, for from all the 
galleries round the same sight could be seen. 

At the end of the sumptuous feast the King's 
Champion, completely covered in ancient armour, 
with helmet on head and lance in hand, mounted 
on a superb steed, also covered with armour and 
richly caparisoned, rode into the hall. On his right 
rode the Duke of Richmond as Grand Constable, 
and on his left the Earl of Sussex, representative 


of the Grand Marshal of England. Both these 
peers were mounted on very fine, richly caparisoned 
horses. When they had ridden up to the centre of 
the hall a herald-at-arms on horseback, who had 
preceded them, called out in a loud and threatening 
voice, "If anyone has the audacity to deny that 
King George II., King of Great Britain, France, 
and Ireland, is son and nearest heir to George I., 
and legitimate successor to the imperial crown of 
these kingdoms, his champion here present gives 
him the lie, and maintains that he is false and a 
traitor, and that he is ready to fight him in single 
combat in the lists." The Champion thereupon 
flung one of his gauntlets on the floor, but as none, 
as you may well imagine, answered the challenge, 
the herald-at-arms picked it up and restored it to 
the Champion. The King then drank the Cham- 
pion's health in a goblet of gold, and he in his turn 
drank to His Majesty's health, and kept the goblet 
as his fee. 

Shortly after the Champion had challenged and 
retired the King, Queen, and Princesses rose from 
table, and passing into another apartment, retired to 
St. James's Palace very fatigued and weary. Their 



example was followed by the peers and peeresses, 
after which the big doors were thrown open and 
the crowd allowed to enter and take possession of 
the remains of the feast, of the table linen, of the 
plates and dishes, and of everything that was on 
the table. The pillage was most diverting ; the 
people threw themselves with extraordinary avidity 
on everything the hall contained ; blows were given 
and returned, and I cannot give you any idea of 
the noise and confusion that reigned. In less than 
half an hour everything had disappeared, even the 
boards of which the tables and seats had been 

I know I cannot possibly give you any correct 
idea of the magnificence and beauty of all these 
sights ; the spectators on the stands and at the 
windows were likewise charming to contemplate. 
I am certain that at least two thousand people had 
left off wearing the late King's mourning for that 
day, and were dressed with taste in bright colours. 
I saw many ladies remarkable for their beauty and 
charming attire. As to the populace, it was in- 
numerable. The greater part of those persons who 
took part in the royal procession have a right to 


certain ofifices either by birth or because they 
possess certain properties and lands. I have been 
given a list of those who have particular privileges, 
and some of them seem to me to be so very curious 
that I must tell you of them. 

1. The Lord Great Chamberlain of England 
has the right to present the King his shirt on 
the day of his coronation and to dress him, and 
to receive as fee a sufficient quantity of crimson 
velvet for a robe of state, also the King's bed and 
the furniture of the room in which he slept on the 
night preceding the coronation, together with the 
clothes and dressing-gown His Majesty wore the 
day before, and besides all this, being the first 
officer and his office being to wash the crockery, 
he may present the King with a basin of water 
before and after the feast, and receive the big 
basin and ewer of chased silver-gilt workmanship 
that has served for this usage as fee. These utensils 
must weigh three hundred and five ounces. 

2. The Lord Archbishop of Canterbury has the 
right to crown the King, and to receive as fee the 
throne, the cushion, and stool of purple velvet on 


which the King has seated himself after being 
crowned, and also the pall of cloth-of-gold that 
is held over the King's head whilst he is being 

3. The Lord Mayor of London has the right 
to be first to offer the King a draught of wine in 
a goblet of pure gold ; this goblet and lid may- 
be kept by him as fee, and must weigh twenty 

4. The Duke of Norfolk, as Earl of Arundel, 
has the right to be chief butler on that day, or to 
send a representative in his stead, and to receive a 
goblet with lid of pure gold, weighing thirty-two 
ounces, as salary. 

5. The Earl of Essex has the right to be Grand 
Chaplain on that day, and to receive two large 
vessels of chased silver-gilt workmanship as salary ; 
these vessels must weigh three hundred and five 
ounces, and have served for receiving the offerings. 

6. The King's (Ecuyer) Squire, Master of the 
Horse, has a right to taste the viands and to 
receive two silver-gilt basins, weighing thirty 
ounces, as salary. 

7. The feudatory Lord of Grand- Wymondley, 


in the county of Hertford, has the right to officiate 
as Grand Cup-bearer, and to receive a basin and 
cup in silver-gilt, weighing two hundred and twenty 

8. The Mayor and twelve citizens of Oxford 
have the right to aid and assist the Grand Butler, 
and to receive a bowl with lid of chased silver-gilt 
workmanship, weighing one hundred and ten ounces, 
as salary. 

9. The feudatory Lord of Scrivelsby, in the 
county of Lincoln, has the right to be the King's 
Champion, and to receive a goblet with lid of pure 
gold, weighing thirty-six ounces, as fee, and also the 
horse His Majesty habitually rides, with saddle and 

N.B. — The King's cipher is engraven on all 
these different pieces of gold and silver-gilt plate. 

10. The Dean and Chapter of the collegiate 
church of the Abbey of Westminster have the 
right to inform the King of all the rites and 
ceremonies in use at the Coronation, to assist the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, and to receive as salary 
the robes for the dean and the twelve canons, 
also the offerings that have been received at the 


ceremony, as well as the hangings with which the 
chapel has been hung. 

11. The feudatory Lord of Addington, in the 
county of Surrey, has the right to make gruel for 
the King and Queen, and to serve it himself at 
their table ; he receives all the utensils which have 
served to make it as fee, and the King must create 
him knight bachelor if he is not one already. 

12. The feudatory Lord of Ascleven, in the 
province of Norfolk, has the right to lay the cloth 
for the King and to receive all the table linen 
as fee. 

13. The feudatory Lord of Heyden, in the 
county of Essex, has the right to present the 
King with a napkin for cleaning his hands before 
and after the meal, and to receive the napkin as 

14. The feudatory Lord of Worksop, in the 
county of Nottingham, has the right to provide 
the King with a glove for his right hand, to have 
the honour of putting it on him, and of helping 
him to uplift his right arm with the sceptre when 
he is seated on his throne. 

15. The barons of the Cinque Ports have the 


right to carry the canopy over the King's and 
Queen's head on Coronation Day ; this privilege 
is shared with the Gentlemen Pensioners, and as 
salary they may keep the canopies, with the balls 
and bells of gilded silver. 

Many other noblemen have particular rights and 
privileges on Coronation Day, but I cannot describe 
any more, for I have been too lengthy already. 
I must therefore end my letter, assuring you of 
my love for you. 

I must add that the Lord Mayor's banquet has 
been particularly sumptuous and brilliant this year. 
The King, Queen, and the three elder Princesses 
honoured it with their presence. A great number 
of lords and ladies of the Court and the foreign 
ministers assisted. It is true that no king has 
attended this banquet for many years, and this was 
the cause of its extraordinary magnificence. 


Pleasures of the English— About the opera— About comedy— About 
tragedy— About pantomimes— About gladiators— Ambassadors of 
Holland — Their reception at the Tower — Order of their entrance 
— Their audience. 

London, Feb. 23, 1728 

In former letters I have told you about the 
customs and the character of the English, I will 
now tell you something of their pleasures and 
sports. Some delight in the chase, some in horses 
and dogs, others again in card -playing and in 
wine-drinking, and some others prefer science and 
study to any of these amusements ; but whatever 
English people do they never do half-heartedly, 
and they spare neither trouble nor expense in their 
enjoyment of sports or pastimes of any kind. 

There is an Italian Opera in London, the con- 
tractors being certain noblemen at Court. The 
symphony is composed of skilled musicians, both 
English and foreign, and the singers are all 



Italian. Two famous singers, the Faustina and 
the Cozzoni, and one of the brothers Senazini 
are at present singing here ; they are said to 
be the finest singers in Europe, and are very 
well paid, the two former receiving each ;^ 1,500, 
and the latter ;^ 1,200 sterling, for singing three 
times a week for four months, besides a benefit 
night, which brings them in about ;^2 5o sterling 
each. The Court and town, men and women, are 
divided into two parties, one admiring the Faustina 
and the other the Cozzoni, and both parties load 
their respective favourite with presents, compli- 
ments, and flatteries. I must own that both these 
women are excellent and admirable singers, and 
can do anything they wish with their throats ; such 
excellent singers have never been heard before, and 
I cannot tell you which of the two I prefer. 

There are no men or women dancers at the 
opera, neither is there any machinery, but the 
scenes and decorations are often changed, some of 
them being of rare beauty ; and it is a delight to 
the eyes to see the King, the Queen, and the 
Royal Family, the peers and peeresses, always 
beautifully dressed. One cannot understand much 


about the intrigue of the piece ; it is sung in 
Italian, and the words that suit the music are 
sung over and over again. The opera is expensive, 
for you must pay half a guinea for the best places. 

There are two theatres in London where English 
comedies are acted : one is in Drury Lane, the 
other in Lincoln's Inn Square. I do not think 
that English comedy is at all refined or witty ; a 
proof of this is the play called The Beggars Opera, 
which English people enjoy seeing so much. It 
is true, however, that the principal actress, Polly 
Peachum, is graceful, acts divinely, and attracts 
crowds of spectators. It is said that the Duke of 
Bolton is her devoted admirer. 

English tragedy is far superior to English 
comedy, but it is also too full of intrigues and 
too "bloody," if I may so express it. In The 
Ambitious Stepmother, for example, out of eleven 
persons on the stage, seven or eight of them are 
made to die. Many tragedies are remarkably fine, 
and are written in non-rhyming verse, like Latin 

The theatre at Lincoln's Inn Field is famous for 
its pantomimes, which follow the comedy. These 

I.— T 


entertainments are composed of two parts, serious 
and comical. The first is taken from a mytho- 
logical fable ; gods, goddesses, and heroes sing 
their parts ; the decorations are very fine, and the 
machinery extraordinarily so. The second part, in 
which the actors are Harlequin, Columbine, Scara- 
mouche, and Pierrot, is acted and not spoken, but 
the gestures and the machinery allow you to follow 
the intrigue easily, and it is generally very comical. 

Mr. Rich, the director of this theatre, spends a 
great deal of money on plays of this sort ; two 
well-known ones are the Rape of Europa and 
Orpheus in the Lower Regions. In the former 
play a part of the theatre represents hell, in which 
are seated gods and goddesses ; it rises gradually 
into the clouds ; at the same instant out of the 
earth rises another stage. The scene represents a 
farmhouse, in front of which is a dunghill with an 
egg, the size of an ostrich's, on it. This ^g^, 
owing to the heat of the sun, grows gradually 
larger and larger ; when it is of a very large size 
it cracks open, and a little Harlequin comes out of 
it. He is of the size of a child of three or four 
years old, and little by little attains a natural 


height. It is said Mr. Rich spent more than 
;^4,ooo sterling on Orpheus. The serpent that 
kills Eurydice is of enormous size, and is covered 
all over with gold and green scales and with red 
spots ; his eyes shine like fire, and he wriggles 
about the theatre with head upraised, making an 
awful but very natural hissing noise. The first 
night this pantomime was given the King was 
there, and I had the good fortune to be present. 
One of the two Grenadiers of the guard, who are 
posted at either side of the stage with their backs 
turned to the actors, noticed the serpent only when 
he was at his feet, and this reptile was so natural 
that the man dropped his musket, and drawing his 
sword made as though he would cut the monster in 
two. I do not know whether the soldier was really 
alarmed or whether he was acting, but if so it was 
admirably done, and the spectators laughed again 
and again. This piece is full of wonderful springs 
and clockwork machinery. When Orpheus learns 
that his beloved is dead, he retires into the depth 
of the stage and plays on his lyre ; presently out 
of the rocks appear little bushes; they gradually 
grow up into trees, so that the stage resembles a 


forest. On these trees flowers blossom, then fall 
off, and are replaced by different fruits, which 
you see grow and ripen. Wild beasts, lions, 
bears, tigers creep out of the forest attracted 
by Orpheus and his lyre. It is altogether the 
most surprising and charming spectacle you can 

Mr. Rich plays the part of harlequin with great 
agility and address, and he is said to be the best 
actor of this part in Europe. In pantomimes most 
good dancers are French men and women from 
Paris. Ladies attend these plays in great numbers, 
and are always beautifully dressed. 

I must now describe the gladiators and also cock- 
fights. I was sufficiently curious to wish to see 
the gladiators, and I will describe their manner 
of fighting. 

The gladiators' stage is round, the spectators 
sit in galleries, and the spectacle generally com- 
mences by a fight with wicker staves by a few 
rogues. They do not spare each other, but are 
very skilful in giving great whacks on the head. 
When blood oozes from one of the combatants, 
a few coins are thrown to the victor. These games 


serve to pass the time till all the spectators have 

The day I went to see the gladiators fight I 
witnessed an extraordinary combat, two women 
being the champions. As soon as they appeared 
on the stage they made the spectators a profound 
reverence ; they then saluted each other and 
engaged in a lively and amusing conversation. 
They boasted that they had a great amount of 
courage, strength, and intrepidity. One of them 
regretted she was not born a man, else she would 
have made her fortune by her powers ; the other 
declared she beat her husband every morning to 
keep her hand in, etc. Both these women were 
very scantily clothed, and wore little bodices and 
very short petticoats of white linen. One of these 
amazons was a stout Irishwoman, strong and lithe 
to look at, the other was a small Englishwoman, 
full of fire and very agile. The first was decked 
with blue ribbons on the head, waist, and right 
arm ; the second wore red ribbons. Their weapons 
were a sort of two-handed sword, three or three 
and a half feet in length; the guard was covered, 
and the blade was about three inches wide and not 


sharp — only about half a foot of it was, but then 
that part cut like a razor. The spectators made 
numerous bets, and some peers who were there 
some very large wagers. On either side of the 
two amazons a man stood by, holding a long staff, 
ready to separate them should blood flow. After 
a time the combat became very animated, and was 
conducted with force and vigour with the broad side 
of the weapons, for points there were none. The 
Irishwoman presently received a great cut across 
her forehead, and that put a stop to the first part 
of the combat. The Englishwoman's backers threw 
her shillings and half-crowns and applauded her. 
During this time the wounded woman's forehead 
was sewn up, this being done on the stage ; a 
plaster was applied to it, and she drank a good 
big glass of spirits to revive her courage, and the 
fight began again, each combatant holding a dagger 
in her left hand to ward off the blows. The Irish- 
woman was wounded a second time, and her adver- 
sary again received coins and plaudits from her 
admirers. The wound was sewn up, and for the 
third time the battle recommenced, the women 
holding wicker shields as defensive weapons. This 


third combat was fought for some time without 
result, but the poor Irishwoman was destined to 
'ae the loser, for she received a long and deep 
wound all across her neck and throat. The sur- 
gton sewed it up, but she was too badly hurt to 
fi^t any more, and it was time, for the combatants 
we-e dripping with perspiration, and the Irishwoman 
also with blood. A few coins were thrown to her 
to console her, but the victor made a good day's 
wort out of the combat. Fortunately it is very 
rarely one hears of women gladiators. 

Tvo male champions next appeared. They wore 
short white jackets and breeches and hose of the 
same colour ; their heads were bare and freshly- 
shaven one of them wore green ribbons, the 
other yellow. They were hideous to look at, their 
faces being all seamed and scarred. They also 
commenced by paying each other grotesque and 
amusing compliments, and then fell on each other 
with the same sort of weapons the women had 
used ; but they showed more strength, vigour, and 
ability, if not more courage. One blow rapidly 
followed another; it was really surprising neither 
man should be killed, but this never seems to 


happen. They fought five or six times running, 
and only stopped for the sewing up of a wound/ 
or when too exhausted to continue. After ever\ 
round the victor was thrown money by his backers; 
but he had to exercise great skill in catching tie 
coins, for he had a right only to those he caught 
in his hands ; those that fell on the ground became 
the property of some of the numerous rascals that 
were standing about, who hastened to pick tiem 
up and appropriate them. The two combaants 
received several wounds, one of them having his 
ear nearly severed from his head, and a few 
moments later his opponent got a cut acrc^s the 
face, commencing at the left eye and enc^ng on 
the right cheek. This last wound ended t}e fight 
and entertainment, and I went away regretting my 
half-crown and determined never to assisf at one 
of these combats again. I consider that c(/ck-fights 
are much more diverting. The animals /used are 
of a particular breed ; they are large tut short- 
legged birds, their feathers are scarce, ihey have 
no crests to speak of, and are very ugly to look at. 
Some of these fighting-cocks are celebrated, and 
have pedigrees like gentlemen of good family, some 



of them being worth five or six guineas. I am 
told that when transported to France they degene- 
rate — their strength and courage disappear, and 
they become Hke ordinary cocks. 

The stage on which they fight is round and 
small. One of the cocks is released, and struts 
about proudly for a few seconds. He is then 
caught up, and his enemy appears. When the 
bets are made, one of the cocks is placed on 
either end of the stage ; they are armed with 
silver spurs, and immediately rush at each other 
and fight furiously. It is surprising to see the 
ardour, the strength, and courage of these little 
animals, for they rarely give up till one of them 
is dead. The spectators are ordinarily composed 
of common people, and the noise is terrible, and 
it is impossible to hear yourself speak unless you 
shout. At Whitehall Cockpit, on the contrary, where 
the spectators are mostly persons of a certain rank, 
the noise is much less ; but would you believe 
that at this place several hundred pounds are some- 
times lost and won ? Cocks will sometimes fight 
a whole hour before one or the other is victorious ; 
at other times one may get killed at once. You 


sometimes see a cock ready to fall and appa- 
rently die, seeming to have no more strength, and 
suddenly it will regain all its vigour, fight with 
renewed courage, and kill his enemy. Sometimes 
a cock will be seen vanquishing his opponent, and, 
thinking he is dead (if cocks can think), jump 
on the body of the bird and crow noisily with 
triumph, when the fallen bird will unexpectedly 
revive and slay the victor. Of course, such cases 
are very rare, but their possibility makes the 
fight very exciting. Ladies never assist at these 

For the present I must leave the pleasures and 
pastimes of the English to tell you about the 
reception of the Dutch ambassadors, the Count of 
Welderen and Mr. Silvius, of the States-General, 
who have been sent by their country to con- 
gratulate the King on his accession to the throne. 
They made their public entrance into London last 
night and were received in a magnificent manner. 
The day preceding the audience, their excellencies, 
the Dutch ambassadors, slept at Greenwich ; next 
morning they embarked on barges and galleys with 
all their retinue and were followed by numbers of 


boats with spectators. The ambassadors' barges 
were all ornamented and decked with flags, colours, 
and streamers, making a pretty little fleet. The 
barges stopped at the Tower, and the procession 
commenced in the following order : — 

1. A company of Horse Guards headed by their 
officers and a band of musicians, composed of 
hautboys, fifes, bassoons, etc. 

2. Six magnificent led horses, richly caparisoned 
and having the arms of their masters the am- 
bassadors embroidered in white on their black 

(The King and the whole town being in mourn- 
ing owing to the late King's death, the ambassadors 
and all their followers wore slight mourning.) 

3. The ambassadors' two esquires in black 
jackets, mounted on handsome horses caparisoned 
with black velvet and silver embroideries. 

4. Twelve pages on horseback riding two and 
two ; their jackets were of black velvet, their vests 

■ of shining silver tissue, and they wore white plumes 
in their caps. Their horses were caparisoned with 
black velvet, braided with silver. 


5. The ambassadors' two stewards dressed in 
black ; they were mounted on fine horses, with 
black cloth and silver Spanish lace trappings. 

6. Four-and-twenty footmen walking two and 
two. They were dressed in black with white hose, 
and their hats were bordered with silver ; they 
wore white gloves and carried canes in their hands ; 
from their shoulders streamed long knots of wide 
ribbon of various colours. 

7. Two handsome coaches drawn by four horses. 
In these sat the secretaries and other officers be- 
longing to the ambassadors' retinue. The coaches 
were lined with black cloth, and had braidings and 
fringes of white silk. 

8. Two coaches lined with black velvet and 
trimmings of silver. They were both empty, and 
were drawn by six white horses. 

9. The ambassadors' state coach. It was drawn 
by eight magnificent horses spotted black and white. 
Their harness was of black velvet ; the rings and 
ornaments were of silver ; the reins, cockades, and 
plumes of black silk and silver thread. The in- 
terior of the coach was of black velvet embroidered 
with silver, and trimmed and fringed with silver. 


The outside was of black morocco leather, the nails, 
straps, and ornaments being of silver. The body 
of the coach and the wheels were sculptured and 
painted in black, and the sides had six panes of 
glass. This superb coach was empty. 

10. Four of the King's coaches drawn by four 
horses which had been sent to meet the ambassa- 
dors at the Tower landing. In the first sat the 
two ambassadors, and in the second the ordinary 
Dutch resident and some other persons, but of the 
ambassadors' retinue. 

1 1. Ten or twelve coaches drawn by six horses 
and belonging to the Court nobles, who had sent 
their coaches in order to honour the ambassadors. 

12. This procession was closed by a company of 
the Guards on horseback, headed by their officers, 
their kettledrums and trumpets. 

When the ambassadors' coach entered the court 
of St. James's Palace the drummers beat a charge, 
the company of Foot Guards presented arms, and 
the officers saluted. At the foot of the grand stair- 
case stood the Master of the Ceremonies with other 
officers of the King's household ; in the first hall 


stood the Chamberlain, the Grand Master of the 
King's Household, and other noblemen, the Yeo- 
men of the Guard resting on their halberds forming 
a hedge, as likewise the Gentlemen Pensioners, in 
the presence chamber. 

The ambassadors entered the audience chamber, 
and a few minutes later the King entered by 
another door. He was accompanied by some of 
his gentlemen, and wore the gold collar of the 
Garter, as did also all the other knights of the 
order. The King seated himself on his throne 
under the canopy. Their excellencies the ambassa- 
dors presented their letters of credit to the Duke of 
Newcastle, the King's Secretary of State, who in 
his turn presented them to the King. They were 
then offered seats opposite His Majesty. The 
Count of Welderen, as first ambassador, covered 
his head (Mr. Silvius doing the same), and made a 
speech in Dutch, which lasted six or seven minutes. 
The King then made a short answer in English. 
The ambassadors then, uncovering their heads, got 
up from their chairs, and the Count of Welderen 
made the King a complimentary speech in French. 
His Majesty listened to this speech seated on his 


throne, but with his head uncovered, and answered 
in French. The ambassadors were then taken to 
visit the Queen in her apartments, and presented 
her with compliments in French. The Queen, 
amiable and gracious as usual, replied in the same 
language. The ambassadors were splendidly re- 
ceived at Court and with much pomp, and they 
remained there three days. 

Now this is enough. I confess that I am terribly 
weary, though I shall never be so of assuring you 
of my friendship. 


Horse racing — English horses — Foot races — Pleasures of the people 
— Cricket — Benediction of fathers and mothers — Christmas Day — 
St. Valentine's Day — Milkmaids on May Day — Oak leaves — The 
leeks of Wales — Crosses — Bridewell — About a thief who is there 
— About a courtesan who is there — About another courtesan. 

London, June, 1728 

In my last letter I commenced describing the 
pleasures, sports, and pastimes of the English. 
One of their greatest sports is horse racing. I 
think, too, it is their greatest diversion. The 
finest horse races are held at Newmarket, near 
Cambridge. The horses there are generally finer 
than elsewhere, and all the noblemen and persons 
of distinction who take an interest in this amuse- 
ment go there with their horses. Last month the 
King attended these races for the first time, and 
nothing was spared to make them successful. I 
was, unfortunately, not able to be there. Several 



of these races are termed Royal, because the King 
gives a prize for the fastest horses. Among the 
royal races are those of Newmarket, Bristol, and 
Blackheath, and these generally last two or three 
days. Naturally, the finest race is that run for the 
King's prize. Racehorses are of a particular breed, 
and are used for no other purpose. Their mothers 
are English, and their sires Arab. Some of these 
horses are worth as much as ;!f 200. Their appear- 
ance is very elegant, supple, and slender. They 
must be fed with particular care, and differently 
to other horses, for they are very delicate. 

Races are held on large open spaces ; a wide 
circuit is marked by posts sunk into the ground 
at certain distances. Two pillars are erected, facing 
each other. On either of these is a seat where the 
judges sit, and from where they can well view the 
course, and it is from between these pillars that 
the horses start, their heads not passing each 
other's. It is also here that the races begin and 
end. The saddles are very small, and before the 
races commence they are weighed, so as to be all 
as nearly of the same weight as possible, and very 
light bridles are put on the horses' heads. The 
I.— u 


jockeys that ride are quite young men of a same 
size ; they wear little shirts and tight breeches of 
red, blue, green, or yellow cloth, and little caps of 
the same colour, or of black velvet. 

At a certain signal the horses start, and run two 
miles round the marked circuit. At the beginning 
the jockeys sometimes hold their horses back 
whilst they watch their rivals, but at the end of the 
race they press as much as possible, and a race is 
often won by the skill of the rider. The horses 
run twice round the circuit. This is termed a "heat." 
You would hardly believe that most of these horses 
can run these four miles in ten or twelve minutes, 
and sometimes even less ! They go so fast that 
when they pass before you, they seem to fly like the 
bolt of a cross-bow. They do not stretch them- 
selves out much, but they throw their legs out with 
inconceivable speed and agility. When a race is 
over the horses are covered with sweat and per- 
spiration. The jockeys get off, throw a rug over 
them, and lead them about for about half an 
hour. Another race is then run, and sometimes a 
third. The horse that has won two heats out of 
three carries off the prize. 


At these horse races crowds of people are to 
be found. Some come in coaches, some in chaises, 
others in phaetons, and many more on horseback. 
Nothing is more diverting than seeing the farmers 
of the neighbourhood, all well mounted and making 
considerable wagers, for they take the greatest 
interest in this amusement. You must mix with 
these people, talk familiarly with them, as com- 
panions, so to speak, for it is certain that their 
manner of talking and behaving and of expressing 
themselves is quite peculiar to their nation. Their 
conversation is artless and frank, but at the same 
time assured and very pleasing, if you pay no 
attention to the oaths they continually use. Their 
talk is never servile or cringing : you feel they live 
at their ease and in abundance, and that they dwell 
under the happy English dominion. 

English horses — more especially those used for 
racing and hunting — are renowned everywhere, and 
one cannot help admiring them, for they are 
excellent. When you travel on horseback in 
England it is always at a trot or at a gallop, and 
Englishmen hardly know what it is to go at a 
foot's pace. Naturally in this way you travel very 


rapidly. Soon after my arrival in England, wishing 
to ride to Guildford, which town is thirty miles 
distant from London, I went to a horse-dealer and 
told him I wanted to hire a horse for two days. 
This man told me that if I had no business to keep 
me at Guildford, I could easily return the same day, 
and he offered me a sorry-looking animal that did 
not look worth two crowns. I expostulated, but 
he told me to let the horse go, that I was not to 
press it and not to stop it, and that I might be 
assured I should be satisfied. In truth, I got to 
Guildford early in the day, I stopped there for a 
few hours, and was back in London at seven in the 
evening. My horse never stopped going at a hand 
gallop both there and back, excepting on the stones 
and pavement, and there I had to let him walk, for 
it would have been impossible to go faster ; but as 
soon as he was on the roads he started off at a 
gallop without a word from me, and required no 
persuasion either with the whip or the spurs. 

This little episode surprised me, but I did not 
then know the worth of English horses. The 
coach-horses in this country are all handsome black 
animals ; so are those of the cavalry, and seemingly 


of the same breed. Coach-horses' tails are cut 
exceedingly short, nothing but a little stump a few 
inches long remaining, and even the hair is cropped 
off that. All saddle and phaeton horses have their 
tails cut too, but not so short as those of coach 
horses, and I never saw one of these animals, all 
the years I spent in England, with a long flowing 
tail. Luckily for them, they live in this country 
and not in ours where flies abound. Another 
peculiarity of English horses is that they are easy 
to shoe. One man is often seen doing it alone ; 
he holds the horse's hoof between his two legs, 
and thus wields the hammer at his ease, the horse 
remaining perfectly quiet. 

Horse races are not the only races that divert 
the English. You often see men or boys running 
certain distances on foot for a wager of from ^15 
to ;^20. Young men of rank also amuse them- 
selves with this exercise ; and I am told that in 
Kew Green women and girls, scantily clothed, run 
races, the smock being the prize, hence the appella- 
tion "smock- runs." I have heard of these races, 
but have never seen them. 

One may say that there is cruelty and even 


ferocity in some of the pastimes of the people. 
Occasionally dogs are made to fight, and some- 
times men belabour each other with wicker staves, 
or kill cocks with blows from a club. This last 
amusement is fortunately only permitted on the 
last four days of Lent. A cock is taken and 
fastened by a long cord to a stake, and for a few 
pence anyone may throw a short, heavy wooden 
club at him, and he becomes the property of the 
man who kills him. It is even dangerous on those 
days to go near any one of those places where this 
diversion is being held ; so many clubs are thrown 
about that you run a risk of receiving one on your 

The populace has other amusements and very 
rude ones, such as throwing dead dogs and cats 
and mud at passers-by on certain festival days. 
Another amusement which is very inconvenient to 
passers-by is football. For this game a leather 
ball filled with air is used, and is kicked about 
with the feet. In cold weather you sometimes see 
a score of rascals in the streets kicking at a ball, 
and they will break panes of glass and smash the 
windows of coaches, and also knock you down 


without the slightest compunction ; on the con- 
trary, they will roar with laughter. Another great 
pleasure of the people is the ringing of bells, and 
it is a source of great delight to them whenever 
an opportunity of doing this presents itself I do 
not suppose there is a country where bell-ringing 
is brought to such an art as it is here, where bells 
are always in chime and in harmony. You will 
scarcely believe me when I tell you that, with six 
or eight bells of various tones, in an hour's time a 
good bell-ringer can ring out more than a thousand 
different peals and chimes ; but it is the truth, and 
the people are so fond of this amusement that they 
form societies among themselves for carrying it out. 
The English are very fond of a game they call 
cricket. For this purpose they go into a large open 
field, and knock a small ball about with a piece 
of wood. I will not attempt to describe this game 
to you, it is too complicated ; but it requires agility 
and skill, and everyone plays it, the common people 
and also men of rank. Sometimes one county 
plays against another county. The papers give 
notice of these meetings beforehand, and, later, tell 
you which side has come off victorious. Spectators 


crowd to these games when they are important. 
Besides cricket, other games of ball are played, 
and square lawns are kept for this purpose, and 
are called bowling-greens. 

I must now tell you of certain amusing usages 
and customs that I have seen in no other country. 

Well-brought-up children, on rising and going 
to bed, wish their fathers and mothers " Good 
morning" or "Good evening," and kneeling before 
them ask for their blessing. The parents, placing 
their hands on their children's heads, say " God 
bless you," or some such phrase, and the children 
then kiss their parents' hands. If they are orphans 
the same ceremony is performed with their grand- 
parents or nearest relations. 

Christmas Day is the great festival day of all 
Christian nations, but on that day the English have 
many customs we do not know of They wish 
each other a Merry Christmas and a Happy New 
Year, presents are given, and no one may dispense 
with this custom. On this festival day churches, 
the entrance of houses, rooms, kitchens, and halls 
are decked with laurels, rosemary, and other 
greenery. Everyone from the King to the artisan 


eats soups and Christmas pies. The soup is called 
Christmas porridge, and is a dish few foreigners 
find to their taste. I must describe it to you, for it 
will amuse you. You must stew dried raisins, plums, 
and spice in broth, rich people add wine and others 
beer, and it is a great treat for English people, but, 
I assure you, not for me. As to Christmas pies, 
everyone likes them, and they are made with 
chopped meat, currants, beef-suet, and other good 
things. You never taste these dishes except for 
two or three days before and after Christmas, and 
I cannot tell you the reason why. The 14th of 
February, or St. Valentine's Day, is a festival day 
for young people. A young man chooses a maiden 
to be his valentine ; she cannot refuse him unless she 
is already provided with one. Sometimes young 
men will draw lots for a favourite valentine. What 
I think most amusing is that a young man may on 
that day meet a maiden, and though he has never 
seen her before, he may if he wills it ask her to be 
his valentine, and she cannot refuse him unless she 
already has one. This custom is the cause of many 
marriages. The ist of May is a great festival day 
for the milk-vendors, who live in great numbers in 


London and in its neighbourhood. The milkmaids 
dress as neatly and daintily as possible, and in 
companies of from five to six visit all the houses 
where they are wont to carry milk. One of these 
maidens carries a trophy of different pieces of 
crockery decked with flowers, ribbons, and tinsel 
on her head. One or two violin players go before, 
playing on their instruments. The milkmaids stop 
before the houses and dance, and generally a 
few coins are thrown to them, or some food is 
offered. Their dance is called a jig, and is peculiar. 
Two maidens dance at a time, without changing 
places, with one foot uplifted, whilst they frisk and 
stamp extraordinarily quickly with the other. Some 
of these girls dance with great agility, grace, and 

On the 3rd of September numbers of people 
wear oak leaves in their hats, some of these leaves 
being silver -gilt. This custom is in memory of 
Charles II. hiding in a hollow oak after his defeat 
at Worcester on September 3rd, 165 1. 

The Welsh wear a leek in their hats on March ist, 
or St. David's Day, this saint being their patron. 
Some of these leeks are gilt, and they are worn in 


memory of a victory won over the English on that 
day. The Prince of Wales and noblemen of that 
principality wear artificial leeks, but the people wear 
them as nature made them, and the larger the better. 

St. Andrew's Day, patron saint of Scotland, falls 
on November 30th. This is a great day for schools 
in Scotland. The King and the Knights of the 
Thistle wear the golden collars of the order, and 
also little blue and white St. Andrew's crosses fixed 
to the buttons of their hats. These crosses are 
made of a tissue of silk and silver, some of them 
being enriched with pearls and jewels more or less 
richly decorated. All Scotch people wear crosses 
according to their means. 

So far I have not mentioned Bridewell or House 
of Correction. There are two of these houses, one 
being situated at Fleet Ditch, the other at Tottle- 
fields, near Westminster. The first-mentioned is 
a fine hospital, and maintains one hundred and 
forty poor boys, to whom different trades are 
taught. In order to accomplish this a score of 
masters are lodged gratuitously, and they take the 
boys as apprentices. These youths all wear green 
coats and large grey hats. An apartment is ex- 


pressly set aside for lazy servants, another for 
robbers and for other bad people. All these 
prisoners are made to work and beat out flax, 
also to scrape Brazil wood or some such rough 
work, and they are only fed on bread and water. 
One of my friends, on the pretext of drinking a 
bottle of beer, asked me to go one day with him 
to Tottlefields Bridewell. We entered a big court, 
on one side of which was a low building containing 
about thirty or forty robbers, pickpockets, etc., male 
and female, occupied in beating out flax. Each of 
these unfortunate wretches was seated in front of a 
large block of wood, on which he beat the flax 
with a large and heavy wooden mallet. On one 
side of this room were the men, on the other 
the women, and between these two lines walked 
the inspector, or Captain Whip'em. This man 
had a surly, repulsive countenance ; he held a long 
cane in his hand about the thickness of my little 
finger, and whenever one of these ladies was 
fatigued and ceased working he would rap them 
on the arms, and in no gentle fashion, I can assure 
you. There were strange contrasts among the 
people we saw ; one man struck us particularly, 


he was so clean and well dressed. His coat was 
of the finest blue cloth braided with gold ; he wore 
hose of white silk, and his linen, though dirty — 
for he had not been allowed to wash for several 
days — was fine. A chain was fastened round his 
left leg, and the other end was secured to a wooden 
block that he was forced to drag after him when- 
ever he moved. Captain Whip'em had no regard 
for his fine clothes, but treated him as severely as 
he did his fellow-prisoners. We inquired who this 
fellow might be, and were told that he was an 
Irishman, brought here for having been caught 
playing with loaded dice in a gambling house, 
and as it was not the first offence of the kind, 
he had been taken up and had been particularly 
recommended to the captain, who was ordered not 
to spare him, and to keep him shut up a month. 
In the women's part we saw a fine, tall, handsome, 
and well-dressed creature. Her linen was of the 
finest and so was her lace, and she wore a magnifi- 
cent silk dress brocaded with flowers. The captain 
took great heed of her; he had made her arms 
quite red with the little raps he gave her with 
his cane. The girl received these attentions most 


haughtily and with great indifiference. It was a 
most curious contrast, this handsome girl or woman 
in rich clothes, looking like a queen and having 
a mallet in her hand, with which she was forced 
to beat out hemp, and that in such a way that 
she was covered with large drops of perspiration, 
all this being accompanied with raps from the cane. 
I confess that this sight made me quite unhappy. 
I could not help thinking that such a handsome, 
proud, queenly woman should be at least spared 
the blows. We were told that she had been sent 
here the day before because she had stolen a gold 
watch from her lover, and that it was not her first 
visit, for she always stole everything she could 
lay hands on. At the opposite end of the room 
we remarked a young girl from fifteen to sixteen 
years of age, extremely beautiful ; she seemed a 
mere child, and was touching to look at. We 
asked her why she was in this place. "Alas," 
said she, " because of my tender heart ! " She 
informed us that she was a prisoner through having 
helped one of her comrades to steal some guineas 
from one of her lovers ; that the comrade had run 
away with the spoil, whilst she had been seized 


and brought to Bridewell; that her imprisonment 
should only have lasted a fortnight, but that she 
had now been three weeks in this place of misery, 
and that, as she could not pay the crown she owed 
for extra food, she expected never to leave it. She 
went on to tell us that she had eaten nothing but 
dry bread, the prisoners' food, for three days past. 
The girl related all this sad history with tears and 
in such a touching way that I was sorry for her, 
and gave her a shilling. This did not escape 
Captain Whip'em's eye, for he fell on her, snatched 
the shilling from her, rapping her at the same 
time with his cane to make her resume her work. 
Indignant at this piece of injustice, I ordered him 
to give the girl back the coin I had just given 
her, but he explained that the custom of the 
prison was that no money should be given to any 
prisoners, male or female, unless he was allowed 
to keep half of it for himself, - and he thereupon 
returned the prisoner sixpence. My friend was 
so shocked and indignant at this treatment that 
without any hesitation he pulled a crown out of 
his pocket, so that she might be liberated at once 
from this house of sorrows. The poor creature 


was so touched, so thankful for my friend's gener- 
osity, that she threw herself at his feet, shedding 
tears of joy and scarcely able to speak for emotion, 
We exhorted her to lead a better life, and she 
vowed she would do so ; but a couple of months 
later, being at the play, I saw this little creature 
in one of the principal boxes, dressed like a duchess 
and more beautiful than ever. Do not be surprised 
at this, for every night at the comedy or opera you 
see women of this class and profession occupying 
the best places. 


Hertford, St. Albans, Ware, Hertfordshire— About parks, roe-deer, 
rabbits — Marriage of Mr. Warren — The atmosphere of England — 
About coal— Meadows full of sheep — About a well-known traveller 
— White niggers. 

London, November 17, 1728 

I HAVE been staying in the country for the last 
two months, and this is the reason why I have 
not written to you for some time past. You speak 
so flatteringly of my letters that it is with the 
greatest pleasure that I take up my pen to write 

My summer has been spent at Hertford, which 
is a town about twenty miles distant from London. 
It is a pretty little place, situated on the river 
Lea, in which excellent though small trout are 
fished. Nothing of great interest is to be found 
round about, excepting an old ruined castle in 
which Queen Elizabeth is said to have been im- 
prisoned by her sister Mary. 
I.— X 30s 


The gentry live in country houses in the neigh- 
bourhood. Every alternate Monday society as- 
sembles in a large room hired for the purpose, 
and dancing goes on from seven till ten o'clock 
in the evening ; then follows a supper, offered 
in turn by one of the ladies, whilst the violins, 
the wines and refreshing drinks are paid for by 
the gentlemen. After the supper, dancing begins 
once more, and is continued till everyone is weary. 
No one excepting those persons who have sub- 
scribed, or who have been invited by a subscriber, 
can attend these assemblies, which are most enter- 
taining and pleasant, for ladies and gentlemen of 
the best families from the country houses and from 
the town attend them. These entertainments only 
take place in summer, everyone being in London 
in winter. 

Ware is a pretty village three miles from Hert- 
ford. Here I was shown Og's bedstead, which is 
of iron, and enormously wide and high, and to get 
into it you must climb a flight of stairs. I was 
told that a few days ago twelve butchers, with 
their wives, came from London, and made up a 
party to sleep in this bed ; twelve of them slept 


at the head and twelve at the foot. No one 
knows precisely how or why this wonderful bed 
is to be found here. 

The county of Hertfordshire is one of the finest 
in England. It produces a great quantity of corn, 
for its proximity to London makes its commerce 
very considerable. Magnificent properties belong- 
ing to noblemen, wealthy gentlemen, and merchants 
are to be seen, the finest being Moor Park, a 
sumptuous palace belonging to the Duchess of 
Monmouth ; Hatfield, the property of the Earl of 
Salisbury, and formerly a royal palace. Cassiobury 
Park, belonging to the Earl of Essex, is enchants 
ing, and so is Tewin House, the property of General 
Sabine, who has spent close on ;^4o,ooo sterling 
in building and furnishing it. I often visited the 
persons of this family, and was always extremely 
well received by them, and its proximity to Hert- 
ford made these visits very convenient. Nothing 
has been spared to make this house beautiful. It 
possesses two rooms in particular which are really 
works of art. One of these is composed of the 
finest and rarest marbles brought expressly from 
Italy and Greece, and the ceiling is painted in 


fresco by a clever Roman painter. The second is 
still more beautiful, being a hall or grand staircase 
composed of rare and precious woods, but the 
workmanship is far superior to the material, the 
artist having encrusted these woods in a wonder- 
fully clever manner with tints and colours, and has 
succeeded in shaping them into lovely flowers, 
figures and landscapes, in perfect imitation of 
nature. When the building and furnishing of this 
fine house, or rather palace, was finished, many 
persons came out of curiosity to see it. King 
George I., under pretext of hunting, visited it 

Most country houses have parks and rabbit- 
warrens. These parks are surrounded by walls 
or palings of oak, and contain woods, fine trees, 
bushes, meadows, some cultivated land, and always 
a pond or a stream. 

Quantities of deer live in the parks. These 
animals are of a peculiar breed, short in the legs, 
being scarcely taller than donkeys ; the males have 
antlers resembling those of stags, only smaller, 
whilst the females have none. These animals are 
killed and eaten from about the middle of May till 


the end of September, their flesh being excellent 
and delicate. What surprises me very much is 
that even all the summer through these deer are 
fat and in good condition, the best being those a 
year or two old. Attempts have often been made 
to transport these animals to France and Germany, 
but they pine away and deteriorate, and lose their 
plumpness and excellent flavour. A deer park, not 
too distant from London, brings in a very good 
revenue, for a haunch or quarter of this venison 
is sold for half a guinea, and sometimes even for 
twelve and fifteen shillings. Each park has its 
keeper, and should any person be caught killing 
or attempting to kill a deer, he will be tried accord- 
ing to the law like an ordinary robber. 

Rabbit-warrens are likewise very lucrative to 
proprietors, if not too far from London. Some 
rabbits are of a grey colour, mingled with white 
and black ; these skins make fine furs, and are sent 
to Dantzig and Hamburg, and from thence to 
Poland, where they are much sought after, for 
you know of course that in that cold country furs 
are greatly worn. The skin of this sort of rabbit is 
expensive, bringing in more money than its flesh does. 


Whilst I was living at Hertford my time passed 
most agreeably, for the company I met with was 
charming. The different families around received 
me most amiably, and one of my friends, Mr. 
Warren, who possesses a nice house and property 
near Hertford, was married during my stay. I 
must relate you his courtship, as it was rather 
peculiar. For a long time past Mr. Warren had 
been devoted to a Miss Medwin, a tall, good- 
looking and amiable lady, possessing ^^ 2 0,000 
sterling. Her father had been Governor of the 
Fort of St. George, on the Coast of Coromandel, 
and in dying had left her all his property. My 
friend, Mr. Warren, tried, but in vain, to make her 
return his affections ; unfortunately, and I do not 
know for what reason, the fair lady refused his 
offers of marriage again and again, giving my 
poor friend at the same time to understand that 
she was very weary of his attentions. One evening 
at the assembly. Miss Medwin being vexed at 
Mr. Warren's incessant persecutions — for the lover 
was nothing daunted, but continued his assiduities 
— made him several cutting and unpleasant remarks, 
and ended by forbidding him ever to speak to her 


again. Mr. Warren's mother, an excellent but 
spirited old lady, furious at the way her son had 
been treated in public, said several spiteful things 
about the fair damsel, which naturally, and in the 
order of things, were all repeated to her, causing 
her to be still more displeased with her unfortunate 
admirer, who began to despair of ever speaking to 
his lady-love again. At this point Mr, Warren 
decided to have recourse to strategy in order to 
obtain a much-desired interview ; he bribed the 
lady's coachman, and made him promise that on 
taking his mistress out for an airing one day, he 
should turn the horses' heads in the direction of 
Mr. Warren's house, and that when close to it 
he should by some means contrive to upset 
the coach and break some part of the harness, 
necessitating a short stoppage, and Mr. Warren, 
being forewarned, would hasten forward and offer 
his services and the use of his own coach. Miss 
Medwin's coachman, quite ready to accept the 
bribe and to take his part in the plot, sent round 
one morning to inform Mr. Warren of the approach- 
ing event, his mistress having ordered the coach for 
that same afternoon. The plan succeeded admir- 


ably, but ended differently to what had been pro- 
posed. The coach was overturned ; Mr. Warren 
flew to the rescue, and helped his ' lady-love and 
also the aunt, who accompanied her, to get out of 
the coach ; but what was the lover's despair when 
he discovered that his beloved had sprained her 
foot and was suffering tortures ! He had her 
carried, much against her will, into his house; a 
surgeon was sent for to set the foot, but he forbade 
any movement or any attempt to leave the couch. 
Here Miss Medwin remained a prisoner hear on 
three weeks, and the end of this little story, two 
months later, was a marriage making Mr. Warren 
the happiest of men. 

You have often inquired of me in your letters, 
knowing that I find English women so handsome, 
amiable, and tender-hearted, whether my heart is 
not in this country, or if I have never met with 
a love adventure. I will confess that I do love 
an English maiden with all my heart, but I have 
never had what you are pleased to call a love 
adventure. The young lady I adore is good, 
wise, and virtuous ; I esteem her as much as I 
love her, but so far nothing has occurred in the 
course of our courtship that is worth relating. 

COAL 313 

I find the air of the country quite different to 
that of London. Here it is healthy, light, and 
agreeable on account of its temperature. Generally 
speaking, there is in England no excessive cold in 
winter, nor heat in summer; meadows remain green, 
so the frost cannot be very hard, and as grapes do 
not ripen, the heat cannot be very severe. Thun- 
derstorms are very rare, owing to this even 
temperature ; they come on so suddenly that when 
they do occur everyone is alarmed, though they 
are never violent enough to do any damage. 

Coal is found principally in Newcastle, mines 
being extremely abundant near that town, and 
more than two hundred vessels convey it to 
London. There are many other coal-mines else- 
where, some much nearer to London, but it is 
forbidden to work them, those of Newcastle pro- 
viding the government with a great number of 
excellent sailors trained on these coal vessels, who 
would be a most welcome addition to the fleet in 
time of war. 

During my stay at Hertford I made the acquaint- 
ance of a most amiable and agreeable man ; he 
had been a great traveller, and was so witty and 


entertaining that I used to listen to his conversation 
with the greatest pleasure. This gentleman is 
about sixty years of age, and was for many years 
captain of different ships belonging to great mer- 
chant companies ; and now, after gaining a nice 
fortune, he has bought a house and domain close 
to this town. This great traveller has seen all 
Europe, has sailed thrice to the East Indies, 
several times also to America, where he has 
visited all the British possessions, islands, and 
colonies, and I do not suppose there is a man in 
the world who has travelled more than he has. I 
must relate one of his curious experiences in 

One year, whilst trading for negroes on the 
coasts of Guinea, there were offered him amongst 
others for purchase two of the most extraordinary 
human beings he had ever come across in his long 
experience. These creatures had the features and 
the physiognomy of their species ; their noses were 
flat and crushed, their eyes small and their hair 
woolly, but instead of being black they were as 
white as we are, but of a livid, pale, dull white, 
without a particle of colour either on their cheeks 


or their lips — in a word they resembled corpses ; 
but what made them still more awful to contem- 
plate was that their woolly hair was flaming red, 
and the "whites" of their eyes were likewise of 
that same colour, so that you could not distinguish 
the apples. Altogether they were so hideous you 
could not look at them without a feeling of horror. 
Though these two negroes appeared to be sickly, 
the captain purchased them. He thought that the 
bad food they had been given and their long and 
fatiguing journey from the interior (for they had 
travelled three or four hundred miles) had ex- 
hausted them, and that they might recover with 
care, and be conveyed to England and produced as 
curiosities. The captain, however, did not have 
this satisfaction ; one of the negroes died on the 
sea, and the other soon after leaving Jamaica. The 
captain told me, when relating this fact, that in the 
heart of Africa, under the Equator, he thought 
there might exist a nation, or even several, of 
human beings presenting these extraordinary char- 
acteristics. Others think that these men may have 
been a freak of Nature, and you, my dear sir, may 
think anything you please, only I should like you to 


know that I can vouch for the truthfulness of this 
story and for my friend's veracity ; and you may be 
certain that he really did purchase the two white 
niggers I have described, for the captain is a 
sincere and honourable man, and his word may be 
counted on as you may count on mine, when I assure 
you that I am your devoted and obedient servant. 


Anglican Church— Ceremonies of the Church— Presbyterians— Sun- 
days in England — Quakers, their language, customs, and dress — 
Their religion and assemblies — Roman Catholics— Jews, their 
synagogues — Circumcision of a child — Story of Count Ughi, 
famous adventurer. 

London, April 29, 1729 

You tell me in your last letter that you are 
surprised at my never having mentioned religion, 
and you are aware, you say, that great liberty of 
conscience and toleration is enjoyed in England, 
and that the latter is considered a Christian virtue. 
I will endeavour in this letter to give you some 
idea of the different sects. 

England has not always been a land of liberty. 
Everyone has heard of the cruel and barbarous 
persecutions Protestants had to endure under the 
reigns of Henry VIII. and of his daughter Mary. 
At the present time people have become more 



humane, and everyone may enjoy peace and tran- 
quillity, maintained by just and wise laws. 

The Anglican, also called High Church, is the 
established religion, and is still on the same footing 
as it was placed by Queen Elizabeth. This wise 
sovereign, in reforming religion, preserved certain 
innocent customs and rites of the Roman Catholic 
Church ; and in my humble opinion she was wise, 
for very probably, had the English reformers 
endeavoured to destroy every vestige of that 
religion, they might not have been so successful ; 
and I also believe that if the French reformers had 
followed the example of their English brethren, 
France might have been Protestant at the present 
day. The Divine Providence that directs every- 
thing has not willed it so. 

I have told you that several Roman Catholic 
ceremonies have been preserved, and are in use 
in the Anglican services at the present time. The 
Book of Common Prayer, which is the liturgy, is 
almost a missal, if you cut off the prayers addressed 
to the Holy Virgin and to the saints, and those for 
the dead. The priests and choristers all wear long 
white surplices when they celebrate divine service. 


but the preachers take them off before stepping 
into the pulpit. In the royal chapels, the cathe- 
drals, and collegiate churches the services are 
chanted in a tone resembling that used by the 
Roman Catholics in their services. 

In all the churches the altars are covered with a 
velvet or damask silk cloth ; candlesticks are placed 
upon them, and pictures are frequently hung above 
as ornaments. Communion is taken kneeling, 
because this attitude is that of humility. The sign 
of the cross is made only on a child's forehead at 
baptism. Several saints' days are celebrated — not 
to invoke the saints, but only as an opportunity for 
reading those portions of the Bible in which their 
noble acts and lives are described. One custom, 
however, that has continued from Roman Catholic 
times, and which no doubt gives satisfaction to 
the clergy, and even might, if it had not been 
permitted, have prevented the Reformation, is the , 
collection of tithes, which custom has been con- 
tinued with great exactitude. 

Only persons professing the Anglican religion 
may fill civil and military posts. King George I. 
abandoned the Lutheran religion and embraced 


the Anglican before ascending the throne, and 
the present reigning King followed his father's 
example. A member of Parliament must, before 
sitting, take the Communion according to the 
Anglican rite in his parish church, and then swear 
fealty before a magistrate. 

In England the Low Church is composed of 
Presbyterians, in Scotland it becomes the High 
Church. The churches of this sect are chapels and 
have no bells ; neither have those of the Non- 
conformists, as all Protestants who do not conform 
to the ceremonials of the Anglican Church are 
termed. French refugees are mostly of this number ; 
and there are in London twenty-three churches or 
chapels where French Protestant services are held, 
according to the formulas in use in France before 
the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and in only 
three or four in accordance with the Anglican rites. 
The dogmas of the English-Scottish Presbyterians 
are very much the same as those of Calvin, differing, 
however, from those of Geneva, there being no 
printed prayers or liturgy. Presbyterian ministers 
are obliged, and I believe even forced, to take the 
oath that they will always make extempore prayers, 


and never fepeat those they have recited before. 
Some of these ministers refuse to recite the Lord's 
Prayer, declaring it to be a sin to make use of it, 
for if our trespasses were forgiven us by God in 
the same degree as they are forgiven us by our 
fellow-brethren, we should never be saved. These 
ministers are not permitted either to learn their 
sermons by heart, or even to write them out or 
prepare them, and you can imagine how unin- 
teresting their sermons must be. They contain 
nothing but repetitions or citations, taken out of 
a Bible which they hold before them ; and they 
preach through their noses in the peculiar manner 
that the English people call "cant," that is to say, 
a scientific jargon derived from a Presbyterian 
minister so enthusiastic and full of his own im- 
portance as to render his words and meaning im- 
possible to understand. Presbyterian ministers 
never study in universities, and they are generally 
not only ignorant, but also pedantic, rigid, and 
severe ; they scarcely ever smile, they cannot 
tolerate a jest or a joke, and they are so easily 
scandalised, and altogether so very "saindy," that 
you cannot refrain from wondering whether it is 

I. — Y 


entirely sincere. Some of these ministers have 
been known to write good and useful books, but 
their number, when compared with their Anglican 
brethren who have studied deeply at the universities, 
is very limited. 

I think that it is principally owing to this sect 
that Sunday is solemnised as it is in England. 
During the Commonwealth Cromwell, who was a 
Presbyterian, severely forbade shows or amusements 
of any kind, as well as concerts and games. All 
these are still forbidden, and on Sundays you never 
hear the sound of music. There is no opera, no 
comedy, no sounds in the streets. Card -playing 
on this day is also strictly forbidden, at least for 
the citizens and common people, for persons of 
rank, I believe, do not scruple to play. Unfortu- 
nately a great number of the people divert them- 
selves in the taverns, and there indulge in debauch. 

The curious sect of Quakers, or Shakers, arose 
in the troubled times when England was torn by 
revolutions, anarchy, and fanaticism, that is to say 
in the time of Cromwell. A rather crazy shoe- 
maker's apprentice, George Fox, was the founder 
of this sect. It can almost be said that the Quakers 


form a particular nation of people, quite different 
from ordinary English citizens, by their language, 
manner of dressing, and religion. 

Amongst their other customs, one of which is 
the use of the pronoun "thou," is that of never 
giving any man his titles, whatever his position 
or worth may be, for everyone to them is but a 
vile earthworm inhabiting this planet for a few 
years. Quakers make use of a sort of Bible talk, 
which strikes you more particularly, as it appears 
to date two hundred years back, no Bible having 
been printed in England in the fine modern language, 
the earliest edition of the Holy Book being still in 

The Quakers' mode of dressing is as curious as 
is their language ; the men wear large, unlooped, 
flapping hats, without buttons or loops ; their coats 
are as plain as possible, with no pleatings or trim- 
mings, and no buttons or button-holes on the 
sleeves, pockets, or waists. If any brother were 
to wear ruffles to his shirts or powder on his hair, 
he would be considered impious. The most austere 
and zealous do not even wear shoe-buckles, but tie 
their shoes with cords. The women wear no 


ribbons, no lace, their gowns being of one modest 
colour, without hoops, and their caps have no frills 
or pleatings, and are of a peculiar shape, made of 
silk, and worn pleated on the forehead in a certain 
fashion particular to them. It must be owned, in 
truth, that this simple and modest attire suits many 
of these women admirably. Quakers' clothes, 
though of the simplest and plainest cut, are of 
excellent quality ; their hats, clothes, and linen are 
of the finest, and so are the silken tissues the 
women wear. These people call each other 
" brother " and " sister," and to persons who are 
not of their sect they give the name of " friend " ; 
they never make any compliments, and do not 
salute by taking off their hats or by making a 

All Quakers are merchants, and they never 
charge more for their goods than their worth. 
One day a young dandy, desirous of purchasing 
cloth for a coat, went into a Quaker's shop in 
London, and, seeing some cloth that suited his 
taste, he commenced haggling over the price of 
the merchandise. Finding that the Quaker would 
take nothing off the price of this article, the young 


man swore with an oath that he would not buy it 
at the price. At this the tradesman without a word 
folded up the cloth and put it away. The dandy 
proceeded to try various shops, but finding no cloth 
to suit him as well, either for price, colour, or 
quality, as what he had first seen, he returned and 
asked for the cloth. The Quaker answered quietly, 
" Friend, thou didst swear thou wouldst not pur- 
chase my cloth at the price ; as I can take nothing 
off, I cannot sell it thee, else I should be guilty of 
making thee swear a false oath ; go and buy thy 
cloth elsewhere." Few merchants, I think, would 
have had the delicacy of feeling this Quaker 
merchant had. 

Quakers claim to be Christians after the manner 
of the early members of the Church, but I do not 
know whether this appellation can really be given 
them, for they are never baptised. When a child 
is born the father or a near relative takes it up in 
his arms and says, "Welcome to this vale of 
misery." They declare they have communion with 
God, not with the lips but with the heart, and that 
communion was instituted to remind men of our 
Saviour's death, and that they, having His memory 


constantly before them, have no need of a reminder. 
Quakers have neither priests nor ministers, for they 
say it is not right that men should choose their own 
preachers. They are what we call inspired, and 
they consider themselves as machines made to 
move, act, and think by a Divine Providence. 

I have attended some of their conventional 
assemblies. The meeting remains wrapped in 
profound silence, sometimes for as much as half 
an hour. The men's faces are hidden in the 
borders of their wide, flapping hats, which they 
never remove, and the women draw down their 
pretty silken caps, or hide their faces with their 
fans. Everyone seems plunged in deep medi- 
tation, interrupted from time to time by a 
deep-drawn sigh, a groan, or a sob from some 
member of the assembly. Quakers also show their 
emotion by being taken with shaking fits, which 
make them appear to be suffering from fever, this 
latter characteristic being the origin of the name 
Quaker. Silence is at last suddenly interrupted by 
a brother jumping up, exclaiming, " The Spirit 
moves me." He repeats this phrase thrice, and 
then addresses his brethren in an incomprehensible 


jargon, repeating several times running those 
phrases he thinks most effective, and this is what 
this sect call preaching the gospel. When the first 
Quaker has finished his discourse another will rise 
in his stead, and sometimes several men and women 
will insist on being heard, declaring that they 
must speak, being inspired. These addresses are 
usually absurd ; things worth listening to being 
intermingled with many that are not. This sect of 
Quakers tends to diminish every day, for amongst 
them are many brethren anxious to taste of the 
honours of this life, and many youthful Quakers, 
whose fathers have died leaving them rich, have a 
longing to wear buttons on their sleeves and ruffles 
to their shirts, and to live after the fashion of other 
young men. 

There are many other sects in England, but I 
cannot dwell on this subject, for I should like to 
tell you something of the Roman Catholics, who 
are very numerous in England, where they live in 
perfect peace and security, with every facility for 
celebrating their religion publicly. On every 
Sunday and Saint's Day services are held in the 
chapels belonging to the ministers of Germany, 


France, Spain, Portugal, and Sardinia. These 
chapels are always crowded. Many peers, such as 
the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Dumbarton, 
Lord Petre, and others, have their own chapels and 
chaplain. This, to tell the truth, is contrary to the 
law, but the present minister is tolerant, and wisely 
pretends to ignore these facts. Jesuits, however, 
are looked upon as disturbers of the peace and 
of public welfare. 

No Roman Catholic may occupy a post of any 
sort whatever. When soldiers are enrolled — and 
this is the case more especially with the Guards — 
they are made to take the oath that they are 
Protestants. If after enrolment any one of them 
should be discovered to be a Roman Catholic 
attending Mass he would be condemned to death. 

Commerce is considered to be England's strength, 
and care has been taken not to drive away any- 
one who contributes to build it up. Jews there- 
fore are protected by laws, and are even granted 
certain privileges. They are not forced to bear 
a distinctive mark, as is the case in many 
countries ; if you see Jews wearing beards you 
will know that they are Rabbis, or new-comers 

JEWS 329 

to this country. All Jews are merchants, and 
many of them are extraordinarily wealthy. They 
possess two synagogues in the City, one of them 
for German and Dutch Jews, the other for Spanish 
and Portuguese ; that is to say, for Jews who have 
had to fly from these countries. I was curious 
enough to visit the former of these synagogues, 
and remarked that the women did not mix with 
the men, but that they stood in a sort of shut-off 
gallery. The men covered their heads with a 
piece of white silken stuff, or veil, the Rabbis' 
veils being black, as also their cloaks and gar- 
merits. On that same day a child was circumcised. 
Some of the Rabbis stood up on a sort of wooden 
stand, together with the father and the infant's 
sponsor,, whilst sentences were read out of the 
Bible in Hebrew. The sponsor then sat down 
in a chair in the centre of the stand, the priests 
chanting alone. I was by chance seated next to 
a young Englishwoman, who had evidently also 
come out of curiosity. Seeing no infant (for it 
had not yet been brought in), she imagined that 
the sponsor, the young, good-looking man who 
was seated on the chair, was the intended victim. 


I could not resist confirming her in this view, and 
she then made as if she would retire, and even 
rose to leave the synagogue, but I cannot tell 
whether her curiosity got the better of her modesty. 
Anyhow, she pretended that the crowd around 
prevented her from leaving, but by this time the 
infant had been brought in, and she understood her 

Now this is enough about religion. To end 
my letter I must tell you of something more di- 
verting — the story of an adventurer. There are 
plenty of these to be found in London, for England, 
being such a rich country, attracts them, and 
they pour in on all sides. This particular person, 
however, made himself very important. 

At the end of June, last year, a handsome man 
between thirty and forty years of age, with a good 
figure, witty, versed in several languages, made 
his appearance in London. For the first few 
weeks he lived very quietly, without making him- 
self conspicuous in any way. At the end of that 
time he visited Count de Kinsky, the Emperor's 
Ambassador in England, and told this nobleman 
that he greatly admired and wished to purchase 


the six beautiful coach-horses the Count had 
brought over from Germany for his own use. 
Perceiving that the stranger was very plainly 
dressed, Count de Kinsky inquired of him for 
whom he wanted the horses. The stranger an- 
swered that he wanted them for himself, and 
asked to know the price. The ambassador re- 
plied that as he had no wish to sell the horses 
he could not take less than ;^500 sterling, and 
he fixed that price, almost hoping to get rid of 
the intending purchaser ; but he was mistaken, 
for the latter declared that he found the price 
reasonable, and after examining the horses re- 
turned, and drawing ^500 out of his pocket, paid 
for them on the spot. Count de Kinsky, surprised 
and pleased at being so quickly paid for horses 
that were not worth half the sum, invited the 
purchaser to remain to dinner, and was charmed 
with his new friend's wit and pleasant conversation. 
Before parting, Count de Kinsky pressed the 
stranger to tell him his name, but the latter de- 
clared that this was impossible, but that he would 
return shortly and reveal his identity. 

Some days later the unknown stranger hired a 


large mansion near Court, bought a fine coach, 
engaged several servants, and began leading the 
life of a person of rank. His first visit was to 
Count de Kinsky, whom he went to visit in state in 
a fine coach attended by several servants in livery, 
and himself richly dressed in the latest fashion. 
On being received by the Count, the stranger 
declared that he had come to tell his name, that he 
was an Italian, Count Ughi, and that he hoped to 
be soon permitted to reveal what important busi- 
ness had brought him to England. The very next 
day the ambassador returned Count Ughi's visit, 
and was more and more charmed with his new 
friend's amiability and wit, so much so that he 
offered to introduce him to the other ambassadors, 
who in their turn received him most graciously, and 
invited him to their houses. Count Ughi returned 
all the invitations that were showered on him with 
the greatest magnificence, and in a short time 
nothing was talked of at Court but his wit, wealth, 
and good taste, and no ball or reception could be a 
success unless the Count was present. 

About three months later everyone was thunder- 
struck at hearing that Count Ughi had disappeared. 


leaving orders that his horses, his plate, and furni- 
ture should be sold secretly, but the general surprise 
was still greater when it was discovered that he had 
left ;^3,ooo of debts behind him. People began to 
fear that the Count was an adventurer, but these 
fears subsided when an announcement appeared in 
the gazettes to the effect that a rich Jew merchant 
in the City would pay off anyone able to prove that 
Count Ughi owed him any money. The creditors 
therefore being all indemnified, no one spoke of the 
Count except to regret him. 

Some months later Count Ughi reappeared. He 
hired a mansion in Pall Mall, near St. James's 
Palace, bought new coaches, new horses, engaged 
servants, visited Count de Kinsky and his former 
friends, to whom he made many excuses for having 
left London so suddenly, giving them to understand 
that he was expecting letters of credit from the 
Grand Duke of Tuscany, whose ambassador he was 
expected to become. I have been told that Count 
Ughi was presented to the King and Queen, but in 
any case he shone more than ever in society, and 
seemed to spend more money than before, giving 
balls and banquets every week; and at some of 


these receptions he would present the ladies with 
costly gifts, either by means of a lottery in which 
there were none but winning numbers, or in other 
ways, such as games with prizes — in fact, he seized 
every opportunity of making himself liked for his 
charming manners and his generosity ; and he at- 
tracted the friendship and goodwill of all at Court, 
more particularly that of the Duchess of Bucking- 
ham, who, it was thought, would end by marrying 
him. Count Ughi had given the Duchess to 
understand that he was an illegitimate brother of 
the King of Portugal, and that the late King, 
his father, had left him great wealth. His influence 
over the Duchess was such as to cause her family 
great anxiety, and she would no doubt have 
married him had not her family been strenuously 
opposed to the union. The Count's career in 
London was suddenly cut short. On the same day 
that he had invited his numerous friends and 
admirers to a large banquet, these being all persons 
of the highest rank, Sir Robert Walpole sent for 
the Count at five o'clock in the evening, and told 
him simply that if he had any advice to give him it 
was to the effect that he had better never be seen in 
London or in England again. Count Ughi did not 


wait to be told twice. He went to his house, 
gathered together the most precious things he 
possessed, left a man in whom he could trust to sell 
and dispose of the articles he was unable to remove 
in the night, and departing in haste for Dover, he 
caught the mail packet and crossed over to Calais. 

The guests who had been bidden to the banquet 
were greatly surprised at finding the doors closed, 
and at learning of the Count's second disappear- 
ance, and his creditors were still more disconcerted 
next day when, on applying to the Jew who had 
paid off the Count's debts the first time, they were 
informed that no orders and no money had been 
left, and I am told that over ;^6,ooo sterling were 
lost by the creditors. 

It was discovered later on that Count Ughi was 
a Carmelite monk from Vienna, who, weary of the 
convent and of convent life, had escaped and 
played different parts in Italy, France, Germany, 
and Holland, and that on leaving England he had 
gone to Rome, where he had been taken prisoner 
and shut up in prison, and he is there, no doubt, 
at the present time of writing. This story should 
be a warning to persons who without sufficient 
proof believe anything that is told them. 


The government and revenues of England — Taxes — Singular laws 
— Also with regard to women — False witnesses — Mr. Ward in 
pillory — The pillory — Debtors' prisons — About Tories and Whigs 
— Jacobites — Tulip trees. 

London, August, 1729 

England undoubtedly is, in my opinion, the most 
happily governed country in the world. 

She is governed by a King whose power is 
limited by wise and prudent laws, and by Parlia- 
ment, this being composed of lords spiritual and 
temporal in one house and of the people's deputies 
in the other. The King cannot levy any new 
taxes, neither can he abolish privileges or make 
new laws without the consent of Parliament. He 
cannot order the imprisonment or execution of any 
individual, neither can he confiscate lands or 
property — all this according to the laws of the 
kingdom. The King may, on the other hand, 



and without consulting Parliament, declare war and 
make peace, send ambassadors to foreign courts, 
and call together meetings of Parliament. 

All civil and military posts are given away by 
the King. He also creates new peers, and has 
many privileges ; in a word, the laws of Great 
Britain permit her kings to do all the good they 
may desire to do, preventing them at the same 
time from doing the bad. The revenues of the 
country do not go to the Crown. King George II. 
has ^1,000,000 sterling yearly ; this he em- 
ploys for his own maintenance and for that of 
his household. The subsidies granted by the 
House of Commons go to maintain the army and 
the fleet, and to pay the other necessary expenses 
of the kingdom, the ministers being occasionally 
called upon to render an account of the manner 
in which this money has been spent. Subsidies 
are drawn from the customs and from various taxes, 
especially from those on landed property, the latter 
varying according to the requirements of the State, 
four shillings in the pound being the highest figure 
so far attained. Officers of the State collect these 
taxes, but never dishonestly, neither do they appro- 
I. — z 


priate any portion for themselves, as is the well- 
known custom in France. Peers and noblemen 
are not exempt from these taxes, but pay them 
like the humblest of the King's subjects, it being 
considered natural and just that all should con- 
tribute to the welfare of the country. 

The enormous sums that are levied are a source 
of surprise to foreigners. Beer pays three different 
taxations, every pack of playing-cards pays sixpence, 
and silver plate and goldsmiths' work sixpence in 
the ounce. Householders pay taxes on windows 
and on chimneys, but you hear no complaints, and 
life is extraordinarily easy and comfortable. Not- 
withstanding these enormous revenues the kingdom 
is relatively poor, for its debts amount to between 
seventy and eighty million pounds sterling, but on 
the other hand it is rich with inexhaustible wealth. 

Ever since the Norman Conquest the laws have 
been written in the ancient Norman or French 
tongue, and in order to be enabled to study and 
understand them, lawyers are forced to learn and 
study this language. 

Another source of surprise to foreigners is the 
leniency of the laws towards false witnesses, per- 


jurers, and forgers, who, when convicted of any of 
these crimes, are only punished with the pillory. 
This is surely the reason why you hear of so many 
offences of this nature in England, where persons 
capable of these acts are called " Knights of the 
Post." These perjurers are generally Irishmen, 
who for the sum of half a crown will witness and 
swear any falsehood, and I think it is a great 
misfortune that the laws should be so lenient 
towards wretches who are willing for a trifling sum 
to deprive honest men of honour, possessions, 
and sometimes even of life. Forgers are also 
punished by the pillory. Of this I must give you 
an extraordinary example that occurred in March, 

Mr. John Ward, Member of Parliament, said 
to be worth ^2,000 sterling, had for many years 
been the Duchess of Buckingham's agent, and had 
had sole charge of all her estates and property. 
Mr. Ward suddenly declared that he had had 
enough of this work, and that, wishing to wind up 
and settle his affairs, he desired the Duchess to 
return him twelve or fifteen thousand pounds, for 
which sum she was his debtor, and in order to 


prove this fact he produced several bills and sig- 
natures in the Duchess's handwriting. A lengthy 
lawsuit followed, which finally came before the 
Court of King's Bench, and the Duchess, who had 
already been condemned to lose the lawsuit by the 
judges of the court below, was going to be con- 
demned by those of the higher court, when one of 
them had a sudden inspiration. Seizing a contested 
bill, the judge held it up to the light, and, having 
examined it carefully, he discovered to a certainty 
that the bill was forged, the date and watermark on 
the paper being by several years posterior to the 
date of the writing. John Ward's guilt was thus 
clearly proved, and he stood convicted of forgery. 
I must tell you that all good English paper is 
stamped with the watermark of the paper-mill 
where it was manufactured, the date being always 
inscribed beneath the mark. There being no 
escape possible, Mr. Ward admitted his guilt, 
and it was discovered that he had for many years 
previously endeavoured to imitate the Duchess's 
handwriting, and that with perfect success. Judgment 
was given against him, and he was condemned to 
these punishments : the payment of a large sum to 


the Duchess, of a considerable sum to the King, 
to the loss of his seat in Parliament, and .to a two 
hours' imprisonment in the pillory. The pillory is 
a sort of scaffold, surmounted by two strong boards, 
one above the other, the sufferer's neck being fixed 
in the aperture of the upper board, his hands being 
placed in apertures in the lower. This position is 
so uncomfortable as to become gradually unbearable. 
The low populace, to make this punishment worse, 
pelts the prisoner with mud, rotten apples, dead 
cats and dogs, and that with such gusto and en- 
joyment that sufferers in some cases have been 
removed in a very exhausted condition. Now 
Mr. Ward, being condemned to this indignity, 
took several precautionary measures. To begin 
with, in order to escape the pelting and missiles of 
the crowd, he hired fifty hackney coaches, and made 
them stand in New Palace Yard, all around the 
pillory. Two paid men stood on either side of him, 
who every now and then administered a few drops 
of liquor in order to revive the prisoner's drooping 
spirits ; also putting salts under his nose to prevent 
him from fainting, for after even one hour of the 
painful ordeal he felt quite ill. 


In my humble opinion English laws are not 
sufficiently severe towards forgers and false wit- 
nesses, and too much so towards debtors, the latter 
being sent to prison ; and as their maintenance is 
not paid for by the State, they must feed them- 
selves. It is therefore easy to understand that 
many linger for ever in prison suffering hunger and 
all manner of privations without hope of release, 
and unable to gain a livelihood which might free 
them. Magistrates are very hasty in issuing 
warrants and having debtors arrested. A creditor 
need only show a bill or present two witnesses who 
declare on oath that a person owes him a sum that 
he will not or cannot pay, the magistrate at once 
gives a warrant to a sort of sergeant called a bailiff, 
a person generally regarded by the people with 
great contempt. The bailiff is not permitted to 
arrest a debtor in his own house, or in any other. 
He therefore waylays him in the street, and pro- 
ducing his warrant and short staff of office, marches 
his prisoner off to the " Spunging House," where 
the latter is expected to regale the bailiff, his 
parasites, and friends with something to drink. 
The debtor remains a captive in this house for 


twenty-four hours ; this in order to give him time 
to pay what he owes or to give bail. There are 
in London five or six prisons entirely for debtors. 
One of these is situated in the Fleet, and by a 
small payment prisoners obtain permission to make 
the whole quarter their prison, being however 
unable to leave it except under the penalty of being 
imprisoned anew. At this present time of writing 
from eighty to one hundred thousand debtors are 
imprisoned in London. 

A woman when she marries is freed from her 
debts. And in order to benefit by this law cases 
have been known of women up to their ears in 
debt, and on the point of being thrown into prison, 
going to the Fleet, and there finding some bachelor 
prisoner who, in return for a payment of three 
guineas or so, will agree to marry her, that is to 
say, to go through a marriage ceremony. A priest 
is called, who marries the couple forthwith, neither 
licence nor publication of banns being necessary 
for a marriage in the Fleet. A bottle of beer 
or wine is drunk, the priest gives a marriage 
certificate, and the newly married bride departs and 
never sees her husband again. When the creditors 


come to be paid, she produces her marriage certifi- 
cate, and she cannot be arrested, having a husband; 
neither can they make him responsible for his 
wife's debt, he being a prisoner already. This 
extraordinary abuse is permitted by the laws. 

I must tell you of a singular adventure that 
befell a Flemish painter, a friend of rriine, which 
will help to prove how easily the law allows the 
arrest of debtors. One day, in a coffee-house, 
the conversation turned on the imprisonment of 
debtors, and my friend the painter declared that 
he was fortunate enough to owe no man a penny, 
therefore no misfortune of the kind could ever 
befall him, and that this was lucky both for himself 
and his imaginary creditors, for were he once to 
be shut up in prison he could never hope to be 
released, as he would have lost his only means of 
livelihood. An Irishman who happened to be 
present, and had listened to the conversation, 
joined in, and declared that the painter, if im- 
prisoned for debt, would have to bear it like every- 
one else, that he would quickly get over the shame, 
and no doubt find means to pay the debt and to 
obtain his release. The painter and the Irishman 


left the coffee-house together. As soon as they 
were alone, the Irishman returned to the subject 
of debts, and the painter repeatedly declared that 
he was so afraid of imprisonment that he would 
take good care never to owe any man a single 
farthing. Some few weeks later the painter, who 
had in the meantime quite forgotten the conversa- 
tion, was surprised and horrified at being one day 
stopped in the street by a bailiff, who produced 
a warrant, and ordered him to follow him to 
the Spunging House. Here he learnt that the 
scheming and rascally Irishman had brought two 
false witnesses to declare on oath that the painter 
owed him twenty guineas. My unfortunate friend, 
whose temper is very violent, swore and raged, 
and then sat down to think how best he could get 
out of this difficulty. He wrote to one of his 
friends, explaining his case, and begged him to 
help him by giving bail for him, thus enabling him 
to retain his freedom. This the friend consented to 
do, and the painter's next step was to endeavour 
to prove that the Irishman had lied. He went to 
law before the tribunal of the Marshalsea. The 
Irishman appeared with two false witnesses who 


swore that on such and such a day, at the Stock 
Exchange, the painter had borrowed twenty- 
guineas from him, promising that he would return 
him the money in a fortnight. The unfortunate 
painter was condemned. He asked for a respite, 
and was granted a fortnight. At the end of 
that time he was much troubled at not having 
been able to collect the necessary sum, for he had 
little credit, being a poor man. Suddenly he took 
a decision I should certainly never have taken. 
He resolved to pay out the Irishman in the same 
sort of coin as the supposed twenty guineas that 
had been lent him. He hired two other false 
witnesses who swore on oath that the painter had 
already repaid the debt. This led to a second law- 
suit, the painter being this time the gainer. 

I can hear you exclaim, " I should be sorry to 
live in a country where one is exposed to such 
injustice." When a thing of this sort occurs, it 
certainly is very painful, but it does not happen 
to everyone. So far I have had nothing to com- 
plain of, and I have never regretted my visit to 
London. It is, I find, a most agreeable town to 
live in, at least for those who speak the language 


and who appreciate the genius, the good taste, the 
manner of living, and the spirit of the people; who 
have made pleasant acquaintances, and have their 
pockets sufficiently well filled with money to be free 
from debt. It is, certain that this nation would be 
the happiest and most enviable in the world, were 
it not divided by sects and different parties, which 
have often been the cause of civil wars. I have 
already spoken of the sects ; I must now tell you 
something of the parties who have from time to 
time caused disturbances in England, and will 
without doubt do so again. 

You have, I am sure, heard of the appellations 
" Tories " and " Whigs " as being nicknames given 
to the two principal parties in England ; I should 
be much embarrassed were you to ask me to give 
you the etymology of these names, but I believe 
the two parties first appeared under the reign of 
Charles II., and that these names were given them 
satirically and opprobriously, but this is no longer 
so. The Tories uphold all the prerogatives of the 
Sovereign, and declare that his or her subjects 
must submit without resistance, even though his 
or her power be arbitrary. The opposite party, 


or Whigs, accuse their opponents of wishing to 
upset the recognised form of government and the 
Hberties of the nation by endeavouring to establish 
despotism, thus making the King a tyrant and his 
subjects ~ slaves, and they, moreover, consider that 
respect and obedience are owed to the King only 
so long as the latter maintains the conditions under 
which supreme power has been given him, but were 
he to attempt to govern the consciences, lives, and 
possessions of his subjects, and thus violate the 
fundamental laws of the State, the latter should 
not only refuse him obedience, but also take the 
necessary measures to be governed according to 
the established laws of the country. The Tories 
reproach the Whigs with these principles, and 
declare that they are real republicans, desirous of 
taking all authority and power from the Sovereign, 
leaving him no more rights than are allowed to a 
Doge of Venice. 

These two parties are so opposed to each other 
that nothing but a real miracle could cause them to 
become united. Many causes contribute to this 
animosity, and none more than the antipathy that 
exists between the Anglicans and the Presbyterians, 


together with other Nonconformists. The latter 
are Whigs, and so great is their fear lest a Roman 
Catholic monarch powerful enough to annihilate the 
tolerance recognised by the laws should ascend the 
throne, that they uphold the Whigs with all their 
might. Zealous Anglicans, on the other hand, are 
Tories, and look upon the laws of toleration as a 
means by which the Presbyterians are so strength- 
ened as possibly at some future date to place the 
established religion and rites in danger. The 
numerous pamphlets that appear every day for 
and against these two political parties is certainly 
a means of maintaining and augmenting animosity 
between them, and another is the interests of certain 
individuals who become either zealous Tories or 
ardent Whigs, according to whether their hopes 
of power lie in the one or the other of these parties. 
The Anglican clergy of inferior rank are accused 
of being exaggerated Tories, and of writing the 
greater number of violent pamphlets in the hope 
of attracting the favour of the King, who disposes 
of the bishoprics and of many important benefices. 
All Anglicans are not Tories ; many of them, on 
the contrary, are Whigs, and they try to please the 


people in order to strengthen their own power. 
You would naturally suppose that the party at Court 
always upholds the Tories, but it is not so ; this party 
sometimes has reasons for raising the Whigs to 
power. King William III. owed his throne to this 
party, and always upheld and favoured its politics. 

The Jacobites are entirely in favour of the 
Pretender. They declare that the nation has no 
right to exclude the legitimate sovereign from 
the throne simply because of his being a Roman 
Catholic, and they maintain that the law made 
under William III. was not a just one, as it was 
voted by a parliament in rebellion against its 
legitimate sovereign, and therefore the law of a 
usurper. Almost all Jacobites are Roman Catholics; 
the few Protestants that follow this party do so 
from personal inclination or zeal for the Stuarts. 
Fifteen or sixteen years ago the Jacobite party 
was far more considerable than it is now, and it 
tends to diminish every day, either by the death 
of the Pretender's partisans or because their 
children favour the House of Hanover, and little 
hope now exists of the Pretender's ever recovering 
the lost throne of his fathers. 


Though many people look on these different 
parties which divide England as a misfortune, 
others, on the contrary, think that they contribute 
to the maintenance of the liberties and privileges 
of the people. For, say they, were there in the 
country neither Whigs nor Tories, the tendencies 
of the Court would be blindly followed, and the 
fundamental laws of the State would suffer seriously 
by this state of things. Despotism would soon be 
established in England as it is in France. On 
the other hand, if the Tories did not uphold the 
King's authority and power, and if everyone 
followed the principles of the Whigs, the country 
would very soon be in a state of anarchy, as was 
the case in the time of Charles I. and of Cromwell. 
Numbers of prudent politicians, who are not 
blinded by foolish prejudices or by their o\\/n 
particular interests, are convinced that this form 
of government is the happiest in the world, and 
they sometimes side purposely with the weakest 
party, so as to preserve to the country a wholesome 
equilibrium. The only wish one could have is that 
the English nation might understand and appre- 
ciate its happiness better; but where is there a 


people perfectly satisfied with its lot? I, at any 
rate, have never heard of it! 

About two months ago I went on a little pleasure 
party with two of my friends to Waltham Abbey, 
which is fifteen miles distant from London, and is 
situated in the county of Essex. This beautiful 
mansion belongs to Sir Samuel Jones, a nephew of 
Doctor Walker, present Archbishop of Canterbury. 
Waltham Abbey is a fine and large mansion sur- 
rounded by a moat and battlemented walls ; its 
gardens are spacious and well kept ; but the rarest 
and most curious thing we saw, the aim of our 
journey, was a large leafy tree, in shape like a ball, 
with flowers resembling those of the garden tulip 
in a wonderful way, presenting the same appearance 
and having the same odour. This tree is, I suppose, 
about forty feet high ; two men with their arms out- 
stretched can hardly clasp its trunk ; its leaves are 
large and triangular, except that the three points 
seem to have been cut off; the flowers are quite 
yellow, the buds being whitish. I was told that 
this tree bore no fruit. When I saw it it was 
covered with blossoms, and the effect was charming. 
I may say that it is the handsomest and the most 


curious tree imaginable. In these same gardens 
there is another tulip tree, but nothing like as tall 
or as handsome as the one I have described. 
Monsieur de Loys de Warrens, who I expect is 
by this time at Lausanne, can tell you more about 
it if it interests you, for he has been spending 
seven or eight months at Waltham Abbey. Ask 
him news of me, and offer him my love and 
respects. Receive them likewise, dear sir, as also 
the assurance of my sincere attachment. 

I. — 2 A 


M. de Saussure leaves England for Constantinople on a warship with 
Lord KinnouU. 

Lisbon, December, 1730 

You will no doubt be surprised at receiving this 
letter, dated Lisbon. I do not think that I told 
you of my intention of leaving London ; it seemed 
to me, however, that after spending several years 
in England, where I had no matters of any im- 
portance to keep me, it was about time I should 
make up my mind to leave that country and visit 
others. I was anxious to see France, and more 
especially Paris, and I was on the point of making 
preparations accordingly, when I learned that the 
King had appointed Lord KinnouU as ambassador 
to Constantinople, to replace Mr. Stanian, and that 
his lordship was to embark almost immediately on 
the warship Torrington, stopping at Lisbon and 
some Italian ports on his way to Turkey. As soon 



as I heard this piece of news, my whole wish was 
to be permitted to accompany his lordship. I spoke 
of it to General Sabine, who is a personal friend 
of Lord Kinnoull's, and as the general has always 
shown me the greatest goodwill and kindness, I 
implored him to be so kind as to introduce and 
recommend me to the new ambassador, and to beg 
of him to accord me his protection and a berth on 
board his ship, so that I might be enabled to accom- 
pany him on his mission. Lord Kinnoull received 
me most courteously and graciously, and acceded to 
all my requests with the greatest amiability. 

I had made the acquaintance of, and become fast 
friends with, Mr. Louis Monnier, son of the Swiss 
brigadier, Monsieur d'Yvorne, celebrated in his own 
country for the plucky way in which he defended 
the Bridge of Seiss in 171 2 with fourteen hundred 
men against the whole of the army of Lucerne and 
the small cantons. Monsieur d'Yvorne is likewise 
celebrated, but in a different way, for the lavishness 
and prodigality with which he lived at the Maison 
Blanche at Yvorne, in the Canton of Vaud. It is 
said, it is true, that this princely style of living was 
more in accordance with his wife's tastes than his 


own. This lady, a de Graffenried, from Berne, 
loved magnificence, though she possessed no fortune 
of her own, and the poor brigadier's whole estate 
was consumed by this extravagant manner of living; 
he ended by being completely ruined, and died of 
sorrow and shame. My friend, the brigadier's eldest 
son, came over to England in 1728, in the hope of 
finding some remunerative occupation, and after 
living as best he could on nothing, he is overjoyed 
at having been offered a post as first equerry in 
Lord Kinnoull's service, and he it was who first 
gave me the idea of joining his lordship's suite. 

After having made all my preparations, and 
bidden my friends and acquaintances farewell, I 
left London on October 5th, 1729, embarking at 
the Tower Stairs, at six o'clock in the evening, on 
the boat that was employed for transporting his 
lordship's baggage and people to the warship 
Torrington, at anchor off the Nore. At five 
o'clock next morning the sea became very rough, 
and tossed our small boat about most unpleasantly, 
almost every one on board suffering very severely 
from sea-sickness. I had my full share of this dis- 
comfort, and as the wind and the tide were con- 


trary, we had besides great difificulty in boarding 
the ship, and we did not accomplish this till eight 

The Torrington is a recently-built warship, this 
being her first voyage. She is commanded by 
Captain Vincent, and is manned by two hundred 
sailors. She carries forty-six guns on her upper 
decks, but six of these have been removed below to 
make room for his Excellency's baggage. Captain 
Vincent received me most amiably, and offered me 
a little cabin in the middle of the ship, but I 
speedily gave up this abode, preferring to sleep in a 
hammock in the petty officers' quarters, the motion 
of the ship being less felt there, besides which 
there was more light and air. 

We remained at anchor off the Nore, and on the 
7th set sail for Portsmouth, where Lord Kinnoull 
and his suite were to embark. On the 8th we 
anchored in the Downs, the wind being contrary. 
These Downs are a dangerous spot between the 
North and South Forelands, the danger arising 
from the sandbanks called the Goodwin Sands, 
where many shipwrecks occur. 

The contrary winds continued all the 9th, and I 


went ashore at Deal, a small town or rather a big 
village; we suffered greatly from sea-sickness before 
we could land, the sea being extremely rough. 
Landing at Deal is difficult, for the shore is low 
and there is no jetty, so that boats, more especially 
when the sea is at all rough, cannot get close to 
shore. Our sailors were forced to get into the 
water up to their middle, and to carry us on their 
shoulders for about fifty paces. Deal is a small 
place, possessing only one long and narrow street 
built along the seashore. An old ruined tower 
stands at the end of this street. 

As the contrary west winds continued to blow 
I remained on land ; but in the evening of the 
15th the ship's boat came to fetch us back, the 
wind having abated. We had much difficulty in 
getting into the boat, and still more in boarding the 
ship, but contrary to our expectations we were not 
able to sail that night, for the north-east wind 
began to blow With terrible fury. I had never 
before passed such an awful night ; it was even 
worse than what we had experienced coming over 
from Holland, and I can assure you I was in great 
anxiety. All the ships anchored in the Downs 


suffered, and most of them dragged their anchors. 
A little French vessel in particular drifted and 
smashed up against our big ship, and she was 
forced to cut her cables and to sail before the 
wind, and we never knew her fate, or whether she 
had the good fortune to avoid the Goodwin Sands. 
This terrible hurricane continued all through the 
1 6th, our sufferings being acute, for sea-sickness is 
worst when a ship is at anchor. 

On the 17th, the wind having gone down and 
the sea being less boisterous, I again went to Deal, 
where I remained till the 22nd, when, a favourable 
wind having commenced to blow, I returned to the 
Torrington in the early morning, and we set sail 
soon afterwards. At midday we passed the Pas de 
Calais, and, the weather being fine and clear, we 
had the pleasure of seeing the cliffs of France and 
England and the towns of Calais and Dover quite 
distinctly. This favourable wind did not favour us 
long, but on the 28th we anchored at Spithead in 
the early morning. Spithead is one of the finest 
and safest roadsteads England possesses ; it is 
formed by the Isle of Wight and by divers little 
gulfs. The Royal fleet is usually anchored here, 


and we found forty-four warships, many of these 
being frigates preparing to sail to America. Ports- 
mouth is situated on the small island of Portsea, 
and is a pretty little town, possessing a good port, 
a dockyard, and a spacious arsenal, where every- 
thing requisite for warships is stocked. I visited 
several dismantled vessels, and amongst these the 
Royal Sovereign, more than two hundred feet in 
length, with portholes for one hundred and ten 
guns — a real world in which you could get lost ! 

The day we cast anchor I went ashore at Ports- 
mouth and heard that Lord Kinnoull had arrived 
the day before, but as all his people were not with 
him, we should not sail for some time longer. On 
learning this I took a room in the town, for the 
gale we had experienced in the Downs determined 
me to be as little as possible on the ship, more 
especially when she was anchored within reach of 
a town. 

During my stay at Portsmouth I learned to know 
English naval officers. Good Lord ! what men ! 
I found to my cost that the greater number were 
the most debauched, the most dissolute, and the 
most terrible swearers I had ever come across — 


I say to my cost, for as I lived amongst them I 
was forced to do as they did. One is sometimes 
obliged, as the French saying is, to " howl with 
the wolves," Almost every day, or more properly 
every night, they got intoxicated, and would scour 
the streets, making a terrible row and breaking 
window-panes. The inhabitants, however, did not 
seem to object ; they knew full well that they would 
obtain a more than reasonable payment for the 
damage that was done. I was fortunate in being 
forced only once to be present at one of these 
entertainments, for I always endeavoured to avoid 
them as much as possible, as also the great sacri- 
fices in the way of libations that were offered to 
Bacchus. On the night of October 30th, however, 
it being the King's birthday, I could not avoid 
joining in a great banquet, and the amount of 
wine, punch, and liquor that was drunk passes 
belief. There were so many sufferers the worse 
for drink, that but few of us remained to make a 
row in the streets. 

I was so weary of this mode of living that I 
was glad to learn that the day of our departure 
had been fixed. Lord KinnouU, together with all 


his suite, embarked on the Torrington one after- 
noon, all the warships as well as the score or so 
of merchant vessels anchored in the roads being 
decked with pennons, streamers, and flags in his 
lordship's honour, and the sight was charming. As 
soon as Lord Kinnoull was on board, the Torring- 
ton saluted, firing twenty-one guns, the ambassador 
on board her being the King's representative. The 
men-of-war anchored in the roads responded in a 
similar manner, and the merchantmen likewise, by 
firing thirteen, eleven, and nine salutes, according 
to their importance and size. We then responded 
to the warships' salutes by a general discharge, and 
to those of the merchant vessels by two shots less 
than each had favoured us with. All these cannon 
shots made a terrible noise. I was quite deafened 
for several hours, and we were so enveloped in 
smoke that for over ten minutes we could not see 
each other on board. 

We had hoped to sail during the following night, 
but we were prevented by contrary winds arising, 
and when they became favourable an order came 
from the Admiralty to the effect that we were to 
wait for and then escort a merchant ship, the 


Charming Betty, carrying a cargo of ammunition 
to Port Mahon, and when this ship arrived and 
anchored by us a fortnight later the wind was 
unfavourable once more. 

During all this tedious time of waiting we and 
all the ships at anchor were under the orders of the 
commander of the squadron. Every morning one 
of our three lieutenants would go to him for orders, 
and it was a remarkably pretty sight to watch all 
the ships manoeuvring at a given signal ; for you 
must know that ships, though anchored, can change 
their positions. 

Our captain graciously permitted my name to be 
inscribed on the King's book, and agreed to allow 
me to pass before the authorities as letter-man or 
volunteer, and owing to this I obtained sailor's 
rations without cost. 

Rations are all alike and equal ; they are given 
out to four sailors at a time. Officers receive the 
same food, no difference being made between them 
and the men. Biscuits and beer, as much as, or 
more than, can be eaten or drunk in a day, are 
served to each man, the quantity consisting of four 
pounds of biscuits and four pots of beer. These 


biscuits are as large as a plate, white, and so hard 
that those sailors who have no teeth, or bad ones, 
must crush them or soften them with water. I found 
them, however, very much to my taste, and they 
reminded me of nuts. All the time we were at sea 
we had no other bread. A pound of cheese is allowed 
to every four sailors, half a poun,d of butter for break- 
fast, and the same for supper. Each sailor eats one 
pound of boiled salted beef three days in the week 
for dinner, together with a pudding made of flour 
and suet. On two other days he eats boiled salted 
pork with a pudding of dried peas, and on the 
remaining two days pea soup and salt fish or 
bargow, which is a nasty mixture of gruel as thick 
as mortar. One candle is given out between every 
four men, and when in wine-growing countries each 
sailor is allowed a pint of this liquor. Besides his 
food each man receives 26s. a month wages. Thus 
you see sailors are not only well fed, but well paid. 
Officers receive sailors' rations, but as this does not 
satisfy them, they club seven or eight together to 
buy wine, punch, and fresh provisions. The captain 
of a ship keeps a good table, and always invites 
some of his officers to dinner. Our captain has, 


however, given this up, for since Lord Kinnoull 
has come on board he is required to dine with his 
lordship, and the latter has been gracious enough 
to ask me twice or thrice to his table, where the 
food is very plentiful and good, a large quantity of 
poultry and several sheep and lambs having been 
stocked on board. 

During all those lengthy weeks before sailing we 
sometimes went on shore, but were unable to 
remain there for any length of time, as it was 
impossible to foretell what day we should set sail, 
that depending solely on the state of the weather 
and wind, and on one occasion I deeply regretted 
having left the ship. I must tell you of this 

A few days after the Charming Betty had come 
and anchored by us the captain sent a boat across 
to Portsmouth, and I, together with a young Swede, 
hastened to take advantage of the boat's going 
ashore to buy a small provision of fresh food before 
sailing. So far I have omitted telling you that the 
four of us who had our rations together were a 
young Scotch doctor, sent by the Levant Company 
to Aleppo at the demand of the English merchants 


residing there ; an amiable and pleasant young 
Swede of good birth, sent by his country aboard 
this ship as volunteer to learn the art of navigation ; 
Mr. Monnier, who prefers taking his meals with us 
to taking them with his superiors ; and your humble 

After spending a few hours on shore, and after 
we had dined, the captain of the boat told us that 
he was returning to the ship, but that we need not 
hurry to do the same, as there was but little wind, 
and as it seemed very unlikely to increase, we 
certainly should not sail that night or even next 
day, and we therefore settled to sleep at Portsmouth. 
Whilst we were having supper at about eight o'clock 
we were told that a favourable wind had sprung up, 
and that the Torrington appeared to be making 
preparations for sailing. 

We rushed to the harbour and found that the 
wind in truth was favourable ; but it was so only 
for the Torrington s sailing, and not for our board- 
ing her. However, our fears being very great 
lest she should sail without us, we resolved on 
doing all in our power to rejoin her as quickly 
as possible. With much difficulty we were able 


to find a boatman who, for the sum of five 
shillings, would consent to take us across in his 
wherry ; no other would do so at any price. This 
man held out hopes that we might reach the 
Torrington provided the wind did not increase, 
and he told us he would row part of the way 
and then set sail at a certain distance from shore, 
and that we should in this manner reach the ship, 
then about one mile and a half distant from land. 
As soon as we got outside the harbour we found 
the sea so rough that we expected every minute 
to be capsized. The night was very dark — we 
could scarcely see four feet before us — and by the 
time we had been about an hour on the water, 
our boatman was so fatigued and weary that he 
put up the sail, and that unfortunately a little too 
soon, for our danger became very great. The 
wind continued to increase, the waves got larger 
and larger, and I can assure you I was far from 
being at ease, for it is no pleasure seeing yourself 
on the point of becoming food for the fishes ! 

Our boat, to make matters worse, had no rudder, 
and the boatman had to use an oar for the purpose 
of steering. The wind and sea became more 


violent, and the oar broke, so that we gave our- 
selves up for lost ; the boat spun round, and it 
was nothing short of a miracle that we were not 
immediately swallowed up by the sea. The boat- 
man seized his second oar, and a few seconds 
later we ran full tilt into a ship's buoy, and that 
with such violence that our boat got split at the 
stem, and we were quite dazed with the shock. 
On recovering a little from our fright, and per- 
ceiving that the sea was coming in through the 
leak, and that it had therefore now become im- 
possible for us to rejoin the Torrington, we decided, 
though at least a mile from land, to try to regain 
the shore. The wind was so favourable for our 
return that in about a quarter of an hour later 
we were close to land. Whilst the boatman sailed 
the boat, I, together with my companion in mis- 
fortune, worked with a will, baling out the water 
with our hats ; but though we toiled with all our 
might, we could not prevent the boat from sink- 
ing lower and lower in the water, and when we 
touched land the water in her was well above our 
knees. Before we coiild scramble out several 
waves passed over our heads, nearly washing us 


back with them, so that we had to struggle against 
being carried back to sea. I must confess that 
I have never prayed to God with more fervour 
than during this night of awful danger, nor have 
I ever returned thanks with a more grateful heart 
than when we left the sea behind us. 

We had landed at about half a mile distance from 
Portsmouth, and we set off to gain the town, shiver- 
ing with cold and wet to the skin. As we were 
unable to enter Portsmouth, the gates of the town 
being closed, we were forced to spend the night 
in a dirty pot-house trying to dry our clothes, and 
in great anxiety lest the Torrington should have 
sailed without us. To our great relief, however, 
we saw from a height to which we had gone up 
in the early morning that she was still at anchor, 
and we waited patiently till her boat came to fetch 
us. We did not sail until several days later. 

On the morning of September 14th, with a 
favourable breeze and in very fine weather, we 
finally set sail. The Torrington proved to be a 
very good ship, and the Charming Betty had to 
hoist all her sails in order to keep up with her. 

When we reached the Atlantic I begged Captain 

I. — 2 B 


Vincent, as I had been inscribed in the King's 
book as volunteer, to allow me to take my part 
in the work with the other sailors, for I was glad 
to make myself useful and to learn something of 
the art of navigation. 

Captain Vincent rarely comes on deck except 
to take the air, and he does not trouble himself 
with ordinary seamanship. He is severe with the 
men, and rarely appears without some of them 
receiving strokes with the cane. 

The fine weather and favourable wind continued 
all through the 15th and i6th; then it veered 
round to south-south-west, and became so violent 
that we were thrown out of our course. On the 
1 8th the wind increased in strength; on the 19th 
it turned to west, and the sea became calmer, and 
we proceeded quietly ; but on the 20th it turned 
completely to west, and that with extraordinary 
fury. On the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, the Torrington 
having been blown into the Bay of Biscay, we 
suffered a terrible gale. The waves were so high 
that when one rose between us and the Charming 
Betty we could no longer see her, and when we 
were on top of a wave and she at the bottom of 


it, she appeared to us to be at the bottom of a 
precipice, and when she was above and we below, 
she seemed to be on a mountain-top. Several of 
our oldest sailors told us that in the whole ocean 
there are no more terrible waves than those in the 
Bay of Biscay ; but they are almost more terrifying 
than dangerous, for as they are long they do not 
succeed each other with great rapidity, leaving 
ships time to right themselves. I think I can 
make you understand how greatly we suffered 
when I tell you that we were four whole days 
without being able to boil any water, and no fire 
could be lighted during all that time. Those 
who could eat lived on biscuit and cheese. Lord 
KinnouU and Lord Dupplin, his eldest son, suffered 
very much, indeed the latter almost died from sea- 
sickness. In the night of the 22nd and 23rd the 
tempest separated us entirely from the Charming 
Betty, and we never saw her again, though we 
heard later that she had safely reached Port 
Mahon. On the 24th, at sunrise, the wind dropped 
almost suddenly, leaving a horrible calm. I say 
horrible, for the sea continued very rough, and our 
sails flapped against the masts and the ship rolled 


terribly, groaning and creaking. The Torrington, 
fortunately for us, was a newly-built ship, for had 
she been an old one there would surely have been 
a disaster either during the tempest or the calm 
that succeeded it. All on board her who were 
not sailors suffered nigh to death, and even many 
of the sailors succumbed to sea-sickness during 
this calm, which lasted ten hours, and which 
nearly put an end to me. A north-west wind 
fortunately came to our aid, and continued all the 
25 th, and on the 26th we passed the Cape of 
Finisterre. This day, the last of the month; we 
are anchored in the mouth of the river Tagus, 
opposite the harbour bar, the wind and tide being 
contrary. A Portuguese pilot has come on board, 
and he will convey us to-morrow across the bar 
into Lisbon. 

This, my dear sir, is an account of our sea 
journey so far. I will send my letter as soon as 
possible, for no matter in what part of the world 
you may be assured I shall never cease to be 

Your humble and obedient servant, 


r^Uft/frt '/?i,y (^i'^t^^ ^„ yf /^^^ , 

'./S }I»n<^ >5t«,;,4,,,^v „,- M^M,,/ /K-"^ //. /.V»/S,^.. 



[At the end. 


Aar River, 3, 8, 10 

Aarau, s 

Addington, Lord of, his privileges, 

Admiralty, the, 66 
Africa Company, 217 
St. Albans, Duke of, 251 
Aldermen of London, 107 
Aldersgate, 91 
Ale, 158 ; price, 158 
Ambassadors, Dutch, reception in 

London, 282 ; procession, 283- 

S ; at St. James's Palace, 285 ; 

audience of the King, 286 ; of 

the Queen, 287 
Amelia, Princess, 47, 253 
Ancaster, Duke of, his mansion, 

71 ; Lord High Chamberlain of 

England, 254 
St. Andrew's day, 299 
Anglican or High Church, 318 
Anne, Princess Royal, 47, 253 
— Queen, 62, 134, 135 ; statue of, 

Aquitaine, Duke of, 251 
Arak, 161 

Argyle, Duke of, 255 
Arnheim, 25 
Artisans, 218 

St. Asaph, Bishop of, 256 
Ascleven, Lord of, his privileges, 

"Assiento"' ships, 216 
Aubert, M., in gratitude from an 

Englishman, 183-5 
Aurora boreahs, 172-4 

Bacharach, 16 ; wines, 16 
Bachelors, knights, 212 
Baronets, 211 

St. Bartholomew's Hospital, 91 
Basle, 9 ; clochs, 9 ; fresco of the 

Dance of Death, 10; women, 

Bedford, Duke of, his mansion, 

72 ; income, 208 
Bedlam, 92 
Beer, various kinds of, 158; price, 

Beggar, story of a, 188 
Beggar's Opera, The, 273 
Bells, ringing, 295 
Bergnau, Duchy of, 24 
Bethlehem Hospital or Bedlam, 

Biberstein, 6 
Bienne, lake of, 3 
Biscay, bay of, gale in the, 370 



Bishops, number of, 213; election, 
Blanchard, Mdlle., 3, 5, 20 [213 
Boat, fight on a, 23 
Boats, number of, 169; oarsmen 

and scullers, 169; cost, 170 
Bolton, Duke of, 273; his ad- 
venture, 1 1 3-6 
Bonn, 22 ; Elector or Archbishop 

of, 22 
Boston, Lord, 181 
Breisach, 11 
Breisgau, 11 
Brentford, 146 
Bridewell, house of correction, 

130, 299 
Brisk, Mr., his adventure with a 

lady, 234-7 
Brugg, 8 ; frescoes at, 8 
" Brugg, Saut de," 7 
Buckingham, Duchess of, 339 ; 

her fondness for Count Ughi, 


— Duke of, his mansion, 71 

Calais, Pas de, 359 

Canterbury, Archbishop of, 251 ; 
his palace at Lambeth, 141 ; 
anoints the King and Queen, 
258 ; his privileges, 266 

Caroline, Princess, 47 

— Queen, in London, 229 ; 
her influence over the King, 
230 ; coronation robes, 252 ; 
train, 253 ; receives the Dutch 
Ambassadors, 287 

Carters, 219 
Cassiobury Park, 307 
Catherine, Queen, 43 
Cavendish Square, 70 

Chaire, Mdlle. de, 2, 5 
Chamberlain, the Lord Great, 

his privileges, 266 
Chamberlaine, The Present State 

of Great Britain, 63 
Champion, the King's, his chal- 
lenge, 264 
Change Alley, 80 
Charing Cross, 66 ; proclamation 

of George II., 232 
Chariots, style of, 167 
Charity Schools, 186 
Charles I., equestrian statue of, 

66 ; place of his execution, 65 
Charles II., equestrian statue of, 

79; founder of Chelsea Hospital, 

134 ; portrait and statue of, 

134 ; custom in memory of, 298 
Charming Betty, the, 363, 369, 

370 ; reaches Port Mahon, 371 
"Chartreuse" institution, 186 
Cheapside, 78, 80 
Chelsea, 134, 146 ; hospital, 134 
Chevalier, M., on the news of the 

death of his wife, 233 
Chiswick, 146 
Christ's Hospital, 186 
Christmas Day, 296 
Cinque Ports, Barons of the, their 

privileges, 269 
Circumcision of a child, 329 
Clergy, 213; dress, 213; sermons, 

214; mannerof preaching, 214; 

of praying, 215 ; livings, 215 
Coach-horses, 292 
Coal mines of Newcastle, 313 
Coblentz, 19 ; ferry-bridge, 19 ; 

adventure at, 20-2 



Cock-fights, 280-2 

Coffee-houses in London, i6i ; 
style of, 162, 164 

Colchester oysters, 222 

Cologne, 22 ; cathedral, 22 

Comedies, style of, 273 

Commons, House of, 56 

Compton, Sir Spencer, Speaker 
of the House of Commons, 228 

Cooking, mode of, 220-2 

Cornhill, 79, 80 

Coronation of George II., 239; 
procession, 241-57 ; robes of 
state, 244-56 ; rights and privi- 
leges, 266-70 

Country houses, 307 

Covent Garden, 71 

Coventry, Bishop of, 255 

Cozzoni, style of her singing, 272 

Craftsman, the, 164 

Crawford, Earl of, 253 

Cricket, 295 

Criminals, treatment of, 116 ; 
mode of discovering, 117 ; tri- 
bunal, 118; the "Press," 119; 
trial, 120-3 ; execution, 124-7 ; 
number, 127 

Cromwell, Oliver, 322 

Crown, Archives of the, 90 

Culembourg, 25 

Custom House, 84 

Customs, on board ship, 32 ; 
searching persons, 33 

St. David's Day, 298 

Deal, 358, 359 

Debtors, laws against, 342 ; im- 
prisonment, 343 ; number, 343 ; 
freedom by marriage, 343 

Deer, 308 

Delft, 28 

Desaiguilli^res, Dr., his hydraulic 
inventions, 157 

Devonshire, Duke of, 228 ; Presi- 
dent of the Council, 250 

Dorset, Duchess of. First Lady 
of the Bedchamber, 253 

— Duke of, 39, 255 
Downs, The, 357 
Drunkenness, vice of, 192 
Drury Lane Theatre, 273 
DuppUn, Lord, 371 
Durham, Bishop of, 256 
Dusseldorf, 24 

Dutch Ambassadors, 282. See 

Dysart, Earl of, 144 

East Indies Company, 216 

East Sheen, 142 

Edward III. institutes the Order 

of the Garter, 210 
Edward VI., founder of Christ's 

Hospital, 186 
Elizabeth, Princess, 253 

— Queen, 143, 305 ; statue of, 74; 
her preservation of certain 
Roman Catholic rites, 318 

Englishmen, mode of dressing, 
112; character, 177, 190, 195; 
style of their writings, 178 ; 
bravery, 179; the lower popu- 
lace, 180; fights, 180; gener- 
osity and gratitude, 181-3 ; 
ingratitude, 183-5 ; defects, 
191 ; religious opinions, 191 ; 
morality, 191 ; drunkenness, 
192 ; habit of swearing, 193 ; 



tips to servants, 194 ; suicide, 
198 ; attempts at committing, 

Englishwomen, appearance, 203 ; 
dress, 204 ; character, 205 ; ill- 
assorted marriages, 206 ; fond- 
ness for wealth, 207 

Esquires, 212 

Essex, Earl of, 307 ; first Gentle- 
man of the King's Bedchamber, 
256 ; his privileges, 267 

Europa, Rape of, Tja^ 

Executions, 124-7 

Farmers, 219 

Faustina, style of her singing, 272 
Finisterre, Cape of, 372 
Fire insurance, 154 
Fleet Ditch, 73 ; Bridewell or 
House of Correction at, 299 

— prison, 343 ; marriage cere- 
mony, 343 

— Street, 73, 80 
Folly, The, 95 
Fontaine, Chevalier, 102 

Food, 220 ; mode of cooking, 

Football, 294 [220-2 

Footpads, 129 

Foot races, 293 

Forelands, North and South, 357 

Fox, George, founder of the 

Quaker sect, 322 
Frederick, Prince, 46 
Fulham, 146 

Games, 294 
Gardens, style of, 136 
Garter, Knights of the, 209. See 

George I., 40; his bodygfuard, 40; 
apartments, 42 ; mode of greet- 
ing ladies, 43 ; appearance, 45 
character, 45 ; ceremony of ad- 
journing Parliament, 58-62 
state coach, 59 ; his palace at 
Kensington, 135 ; celebration 
of his birthday, 151 ; presenta- 
tion of a nosegay, 151 ; death, 
224 ; at Tewin House, 308 ; 
abandons the Lutheran reli- 
gion, 319 

George H., his accession, 239; pro- 
clamation, 231 ; reception, 232; 
coronation, 239 ; order of pro- 
cession, 241-57 ; royal robes, 
256 ; train, 256 ; jewels, 257 ; 
ceremony in Westminster Ab- 
bey, 258 ; return procession, 
259 ; banquet, 261 ; illumina- 
tion of the hall, 262 ; champion's 
challenge, 263 ; privileges of 
persons, 266-70 ; at the Lord 
Mayor's banquet, 270; receives 
the Dutch Ambassadors, 286; 
at Newmarket races, 288 ; 
limitation of his powers, 336 ; 
privileges, 337 

Gladiators, mode of fighting, 276; 
women champions, 277-9; male 
champions, 279 

St. Goar, 16; christening cere- 
mony at, 16 

Golden Square, 70 

Goodwin Sands, 357 

Government of England, 336; 
revenues, 337 ; subsidies, 337 ; 
taxes, 337 ; laws, 338 



Graffenried, de, 356 

Grafton, Duke of, 39; Lord 
Chamberlain, 250 

Grand- Wymondley, Lord of, his 
privileges, 267 

Grantham, Earl of, 251 

Gravesend, 32 

Gray's Inn, 71 

Gresham, Thomas, 186 

Guardian, the, 164 

Guildhall, 78 ; portraits, 78 ; ban- 
quet, in 

Guy's Hospital, 187 

Hackney, 141 

Hackney coaches, 165 ; cost of a 

drive, 166 
Hague, the, 29 
Ham, 144 
Hammersmith, 146 
Hampstead, 141 
Hampton Court Palace, 145 ; 

paintings, 145 ; gardens, 145 ; 

parks, 146 
Handel, Mr., 259 
Hanover Square, 70 
Harpe, M. de la, gratitude of an 

Englishman, 181-3 
Hatfield, 307 
Helvoet, 29 
Henry VII., 143 
Hertford, 305 
Hesse-Rheinfels, 17 
Heyden, Lord of, his privileges, 

Highgate, 141 
Highwaymen, 128 
Holbein, his fresco the Dance 

of Death, 10 

Horse, Master of the, his privi- 
leges, 267 

Horse-racing, 288-91 

Horses, value, 291 ; coach, 292 ; 
easy to shoe, 293 

Houses, cleanliness of, 157 ; 
country, 307 

Huninguen, 10 

Huntingdon, Earl of, 255 

Hyde Park, 137; the "Ring," 

Insurance against fire, 154 
Islington, 139 
Italian Opera, 271 

Jacobites, 350 

James I. enlarges Hampton Court 
Palace, 145 ; creates baronets, 

James II., 82, 134; bronze statue 
of, 6s 

St. James's Palace, 39; descrip- 
tion of the court, 39 ; interior, 
41 ; chapels, 42 ; proclamation 
of George II., 232 

Park, 47 

Square, 70 

Jesuits, 328 

Jews, 328 ; circumcision of a 
child, 329 

Joffroy, Mdme. de, 2 ; loss of her 
goblet, S ; at Philipsbourg, 14 ; 
at Cologne, 23 

Jones, Sir, 352 

Kendal, Duchess of, 45 



Kensington, 135; palace, 135; 

paintings, 136; gardens, 136; 

distance from London, 137 ; 

width of the road, 138 
Kent, Duke of, 254 

— farmers of, 219 

Kew, 142 ; Green, foot races on, 

King, Lord, Lord Chancellor, 251 

— Lud, gate, 74 
Kingston, 144 

KinnouU, Lord, ambassador to 
Constantinople, 354 ; embarks 
on the Torrington, 362 

Kinsky, Count de, 330 

Klingnau, 8 

Kneller, Godfrey, his frescoes of 
the Twelve Apostles, 77; "The 
Conversion of St. Paul," 78 ; 
portrait of Charles II., 134 

Knights bachelors, 212 ; baronets, 

— of the Bath, 97 ; number of 
members, 98 ; order, emblem, 
and motto, 98 ; procession, 99- 
103 ; ceremony of investiture, 
103-5 ; return procession, 105 

— of the Garter, 209 ; institution 
of the order, 210; number, 210; 
insignia, 211 

" Knights of the Post," 339 

— of the Thistle, 211 

Lambert, Colonel, 251 
Lambeth, 141 ; palace, 141 
Laufenburg, 8 ; cataract, 8 
Laws, leniency of, 338 
Lea River, 305 

Leadenhall Market, 171 

Leek River, 25 

Leeds, Duke of, 181 

Leeks, custom of wearing, 298 

Leicester Fields, 70 

Leicester, Lord, 44 

Levant or Turkey Company, 216 

Lincoln, Earl of, 253 

Lincoln's Inn Fields, 71 

Square Theatre, 273 

Lindsay, Lord, 260 

Lisbon, 372 

London, 35 ; extent, 36 ; circum- 
ference, 36 ; streets, 67 ; watch- 
men, 68 ; houses, 68 ; length 
of leases, 70 ; squares, 70 ; 
wards, 107 ; number of execu- 
tions, 127 ; gardens, 137 ; supply 
of water, 155 ; taverns, 158, 
165 ; coffee-houses, 161, 164 ; 
newspapers, 162 ; style of 
advertisements, 163 ; hackney 
coaches, 165 ; chariots, 167 ; 
sedan chairs, 167 ; boats, 169 ; 
oarsmen and scullers, 169; 
porters and bearers, 171 ; 
markets, 171 ; charity schools, 
186 ; sums contributed, 187 ; 
beggars, 187 ; merchants, 217 ; 
character of the lower classes, 
220 ; theatres, 273 ; number of 
debtors imprisoned in, 343 

— Bridge, 94 

— Spa, 139 

— Bishop of, 252 ; his sermon at 
the coronation of George II,, 



Lord Mayor of London, 254; 
mode of electing, 108 ; privi- 
leges," 108, 267; barge, 109; 
procession, 109; dress, no; 
banquet, 270 

Lords, House of, 54-6 

Louis XIV., 145, 219 

St. Louis fortress, 12 ; adventure 
at, 13 

Louisa, Princess, 47 

Low Church, 320 

Ludgate Hill, 74 

Mahon Port, 363, 371 

Manchester, Duke of, 254 

— William Montague, Duke of, 
attempt to commit suicide, 199 

Mannheim, 14 

Markets of London, 171 

Marlborough, Dowager Duchess 
of, at the coronation of 
George IL, 249 

Mary, Princess, 47 

Mary Queen of Scots, her tapes- 
tries, 56 

St. Mary-le-Bow Church, 78 

Marylebone, 138 

May 1st, festival of, 297 

Mayence, 15 

Medicine, College of, 134 

Medwin, Miss, her courtship and 
marriage, 310-2 

Merchant Tailors' School, 187 

Merchants, 215 ; trading com- 
panies, 216; number, 217; 
style of living, 217 

Middlesex, 144 

Mist-journal, the, 164 

Monmouth, Duchess of, 307 

Monnier, Mr. Louis, 355, 366 
Montague, Duke of, 254 ; his 

mansion, 71 ; Grand Master of 

the Order of the Bath, 98 ; his 

dress, 102 
Monument, the, 81 ; inscriptions, 

Moor Park, 307 
Moorfield, 92 
Moorgate, 92 
Morrison, Mr., 2 ; at Cologne, 

Mortlake, 142 
Myddelton, Sir Hugh, 141 

Negroes, extraordinary, 314 
Neuchitel, 3 ,■ Lake of, 3 
Newcastle, coal mines, 313 
— Duke of, his mansion, 71 ; 

Secretary of State, 286 
Newgate prison, 117 
Newmarket, races at, 288 
Newspapers, 162 ; style of ad- 
vertisements, 163 
Nidau, 3 
Nore, the, 356 

Norfolk, Duke of, 252 ; his privi- 
leges, 267 
Normandy, Duke of, 251 
Nottingham, Count of, 13S 
Noyer, Madame du, her memoirs, 

Oak leaves, custom of wearing, 

Officers, naval, 360 
Og's bedstead, 306 
Old Bailey, 118 
Opera, Itahan, 271 



Orange, William, Prince of, 47 

Ormonde, Duke of, his palace at 

Richmond, 143 
Orpheus in the Lower Regions, 

Osnaburg, 226 
Oxford, Mayor and twelve citizens 

of, their privileges, 268 
Oysters from Colchester, 222 

Paddington, 139 

Painter, a Flemish, falsely im- 
prisoned for debt, 344-6 

Pally, M. de, 3 

Pantomimes, 273 ; style of, 274 

Parks, deer, 308 

Parliament, House of, 52 ; the 
hall, 52 ; tribunals, 53 ; Petition 
Chamber, 53 ; House of Lords, 
54-6 ; House of Commons, 56 ; 
ceremony of adjourning, 57 ; 
robes of members, 57 

Pastimes and games, 294 ; foot- 
ball, 294; ringing of bells, 295 ; 
cricket, 295 

St. Paul's Cathedral, 74-8 

Peachum, Polly, 273 

Peasants, 219 

Peers, mode of execution, 127; 
rank, 208 ; privileges, 209 

Pembroke, Earl of, 253 

Penny Post, institution, 154 

Peterborough, Bishop of, 255 

Petersham, 144 

Philipsbourg, 13 

Pickpockets, 129; punishments, 

Pillory, punishment of the, 339, 

Political parties in England, 347 
Porter, 158 ; price, 158 
Porters, 171 
Portland, Duke of, his mansion, 

Portsea, island of, 360 
Portsmouth, 360 
Post, Penny, institution, 154 
Presbyterians, 320 ; ministers, 

"Press," use of the, 119 
Priests, 214. See Clergy 
Protestants, persecutions under 

the reigns of Henry VIH. and 

Mary, 317 
Punch, ingredients of, 160 
Putney, 142 

Quakers or Shakers, 322 ; lan- 
guage, 323 ; mode of dressing, 
323 ; merchants, 324 ; customs, 
325 ; assembUes, 326 

Rabbit-warrens, 309 

Races, horse, 288-91 ; foot, 293 

Rat-Tower Island, 18 

Rations on board ship, 363 

Red Lion Square, 70 

Religion ofEngland,3i7;AngUcan 
or High Church, 318 ; preserva- 
tion of Roman Catholic cere- 
monies, 318; Low Church, 320; 
Presbyterians, 320; Quakers 
or Shakers, 322-7 ; Roman 
Catholic, 327 ; Jesuit, 328 ; 
Jews, 328 ; influence on politics, 



Rhine, 8, 10 ; Rat-Tower Island, 

Rich, Mr., director of Lincoln's 

Inn Theatre, 274 
Richmond, 142; "The Green," 

143; Hill, 143; Henry VIII.'s 

park, 143 
— Duke of, 263 ; created Knight 

of the Garter, 174 ; Grand 

Constable of England, 254 
Roads, 147 

Rochester, Bishop of, 102, 255 
Roman Catholic religion, 327; 

preservation of ceremonies, 

Rotterdam, 27 ; market-place, 27 ; 

statue of Erasmus, 27 
Roxborough, Duke of, deputy for 

the Grand Constable of Scot- 
land, 254 
Royal Exchange, 79 ; statues, 79 
Royal Sovereign, 360 
Rum, 161 
Rutland, Duke of, 252 

Sabine, General, 307, 355 
Sadler's Wells, 139 
Salisbury, Countess of, 210 
— Earl of, 307 
Salsbury, Sally, 192 
Salter, public-house of, 135 
Savage, discovery of a, 148 ; his 
arrival in England, 148; ap- 
pearance, 149; at Court, 149; 
death, 150 
Schools, Charity, 186 
Schoonhoven, 26 
Schulenburg, Duke of, 45 

Scrivelsby, Lord of, his privileges, 

Seckingen, 9 
Sedan chairs, 167 
Seiss, Bridge of, 355 
Seltz, 13 

Senazini, style of his singing, 272 
September 3rd, 298 
Servants, tips to, 194 
Shakers, 322. See Quakers 
Shipwreck, danger from, 31 
Shop signs, 81 
Silvestre, M., 3 
Silvius, Mr., 282, 286 
Sion House, 146 
Sloane, Hans, President of the 

College of Doctors, statue of, 

Smithfield, 91 
Sodrick, 83, 141 
Soho Square, 70 
Soleure, 3 ; church, 4 
Somerset, Duke of, 114, 146, 255 

— House, 95 

— Palace of, 72 

South Sea Company, 216 
Southwark or Sodrick, 83. See 

Southwell, Lord, 194 
Spectator, the, 164 
Spires, 14 
Spithead, 359 
" Spunging House," 342 
Stanian, Mr., 354 
Stepmother, The Ambitious, 273 
Stock Exchange, proclamation of 

George II., 232 
Stock Market, 78, 171 



Strand, the, 72, 80 

Strasbourg, 1 1 ; cathedral, 1 1 ; 
clock, II ; women, 12; garrison, 

Suicide, 196; attempts to com- 
mit, 199-201 ; penalty, 201 

Sundays, mode of keeping, 322 

Sussex, Earl of, 254, 263 

Swearing, habit of, 193 

Tagus river, 372 

Taverns, number of, in London, 

158, 165 
Taxes, 337 
Temperature, 313 
Temple, the, 73 
Temple Bar, proclamation of 

George II., 232 
Tewin House, 307 ; works of art, 


Thames, 32 ; rise, 93 ; width, 94 ; 
boats, 94; merchant vessels, 
95; tide, 96; bridge, 83 

Theatres in London, 273 

Thielle river, 3 

Thieves, law against, 129 

Thistle, Knights of the, 211 

Thistleworth, 146 

Thunderstorms, 313 

" Tiger-man " or monkey, 85 

Tofifen, Madame de, 5 

Tories, meaning of the term, 
347; principles, 347 

Torringion, the warship, 354 ; at 
anchor off the Nore, 356; sets 
sail for Portsmouth, 357; 
anchors in the Downs, 357; 
at Spithead, 359; rations on 
board, 363; sets sail, 369; in 

the Bay of Biscay, 370; anchors 
in the mouth of the river Tagus, 

Tottlefields Bridewell, 300 

Tower, the, of London, 84 ; King's 
menagerie, 85 ; a " Tiger-man," 
85; implements of war, 87; 
statues, 87 ; Treasure Chamber, 
88 ; list of the principal treasures, 
88-90 ; archives of the Crown, 

Townshend, Lord, Secretary of 
State, 225 

Tragedies, style of, 273 

Traveller, a great, his experiences 
with negroes, 314 

Treves, Bishop of, 18 

Trevor, Lord, keeper of the Privy 
Seal, 250 

Tulip tree at Waltham Abbey, 

Turnpikes, 147 
Tuscany, Grand Duke of, 333 
Tyburn, 124 

Ughi, Count, the famous adven- 
turer, 330-S 

Valentine's Day, 297 

Vincent, Captain, in command of 

the Torrington, 357; severity, 

Voom, island of, 29 

Waldshut, 8 

Wales, Prince of, 44; his daugh- 
ters, 40, 47; appearance, 45; 
children, 46; palace at Rich- 
mond, 143 ; news of the death 



of his father, 224-8 ; in London, 
229; proclamation, 231; acces- 
sion, 232 ; reception, 232 

Wales, Princess of, 44 ; her ap- 
pearance, 46 ; children, 46 ; on 
hearing the news of the death 
of George I., 227 
Walker, Dr., Archbishop of Can- 
terbury, 352 
Walpole, Sir Robert, Knight of 
the Bath, 98; created Knight 
of the Garter, 175 ; on the death 
of George I., 225 ; method of 
breaking the news to the Prince 
of Wales, 226-8; composes the 
speech, 229; influence over the 
Queen, 230 ; retained in office, 
231 ; dress at the coronation 
of George II., 244; presents 
medals, 259; advice to Count 
Ughi, 334 

Walter, Sir George, 251 

Waltham Abbey, 352; the tulip 
tree, 352 

Wandsworth, 142 

Wangen, 4 

Ward, Mr. John, convicted of 
forgery, 339 ; condemned to 
the pillory, 341 

Ware, 306; Og's bedstead, 306 

Warren, Mr., his courtship, 310; 
marriage, 312 

Warrens, M. de Loys de, 353 

Water supply, 155 

Welderen, Count of, 282, 286 

Wesel, 25 

Westminster, 36 

Westminster Abbey, 49 ; tombs, 
49-52 ; the Royal Chapel, 50 ; 
chapels, 51 ; coronation of 
George II., 258 ; privileges of 
the dean and chapter, 268 

— Bishop of, 252 

— gate of, 66 

— hall of, 260 ; coronation ban- 
quet, 261 ; method of illumin- 
ating, 262 

Whigs, meaning of the term, 347 ; 

principles, 348 
Whip'em, Captain, inspector of 

Tottlefields Bridewell, 300 ; his 

treatment of the prisoners, 

White, Sir Thomas, founder of 

the Merchant Tailors' School, 

Whitehall cockpit, 281 

— palace, 64 
Wiesdorf, 24 
Wight, Isle of, 359 

Wild, Jonathan, the robber cap- 
tain, 131 

William III., 82, 134, 135 ; his 
palace at Hampton Court, 145 ; 
favours the Whigs, 350 

William, Prince, 44, 47 ; Knight 
of the Bath, 98; investiture, 103 

Wines, importation of, 159 ; cost, 


Wolsey,Cardinal,4i; commences 

Hampton Court Palace, 145 
Women, mode of execution, 127 
Woolston, his treatise, 191 
Workmen, 218 



Worksop, Lord of, his privileges, 

Worms, 15 

Yeomen of the Guard, 39, 103 

York, Archbishop of, 251 
York Buildings machinery, 156 
Yverdon, 2 

Yvorne, M. d', 355 ; style of 
living, 355